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

David Schwartz and actor Patrick Stewart discuss Stewart’s 2017 film, “Logan,” at a screening Oct. 26, 2017.
Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image
By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech

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

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

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

Schwartz has organized hundreds retrospectives of international cinema, television, documentaries, Hollywood films, American independent films, animation and avant-guarde 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, among others.

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,” said Schwartz. “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’ 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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