Astoria’s Museum of the Moving Image to lose its chief curator after 33 years

Photo courtesy of The Museum of the Moving Image

Queens native and Astoria resident David Schwartz will leave his position as chief curator at the Museum of the Moving Image on Nov.30.

“His screening programs and live events and his work on exhibitions helped put the museum on the map as a major international institution,” said MoMI Executive Director Carl Goodman.

Schwartz was crucial in developing a world-renowned film program during his 33 years at the museum and will still enrich the museum and the film world.

Museum of the Moving Image. Screening of Logan (2017) with Patrick Stewart in person. The latest film in the X-Men film series is set in the near future, as a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide-out on the Mexican border. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces. Patrick Stewart, who received rave reviews for his performance as the professor, will be present for a discussion fol
David Schwartz and actor Patrick Stewart discuss his 2017 film Logan at a screening on October 26, 2017.

Schwartz has organized hundreds retrospectives of international cinema, television, documentaries, Hollywood films, American independent films, animation and avant-garde work and moderated hundreds of discussions with filmmakers and actors like Daniel-Day Lewis, Halle Berry, Tim Burton, Jane Campion, Francis Ford Coppola, Glen Close and Spike Lee, just to name a few.

Some of his more notable series of retrospectives include those on Charles Burnett, David Cronenberg, “Black New Wave” (African-American film in the 1970s) and “Visions of New York: Films from the 1960s Underground; Candid Cameras: Real Life on Film.” In 2006, he won a Film Heritage Award from the National Society of Film Critics for organizing the first complete Jacques Rivette retrospective in the United States.

During his time at the MoMI, Schwartz supervised more than 10,000 film screenings and played a key role in countless exhibitions and online projects and will continue to work as an occasional curator for the museum while continuing to teach film history at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, moderate panel discussion in the city and host the Westchester Cinema Club, the Cinema Arts Centre Preview Club and the Emelin Theatre Film Club.

“MoMI has been the center of my professional life for nearly my entire career,” Schwartz said. “It has been tremendously gratifying to be able to play a substantial role in its growth and success.” Eric Hynes, curator of film, will take on Schwartz’s responsibilities.

A celebratory program for Schwartz is being planned for Jan. 6, 2019, and the latest edition of “First Look,” organized by Schwartz with Eric Hynes, will be presented from Jan. 11-21, 2019.


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