Exhibition

What Price Hollywood

30 Mar 2019 – 15 Jun 2019

Regular opening hours

Monday
10:30 – 17:30
Tuesday
10:30 – 17:30
Wednesday
10:30 – 17:30
Thursday
10:30 – 17:30
Friday
10:30 – 20:00
Saturday
10:30 – 17:30
Sunday
10:30 – 17:30

MoMA Museum of Modern Art

New York
New York, United States

Address

Travel Information

  • From the east side of Manhattan M1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 to 53rd Street From the west side of Manhattan M50 cross-town to 50th Street. Proceed to 53rd Street.
  • From the east side of Manhattan 6 train to 51st Street, transfer to the E or M train; one stop to 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue From the west side of Manhattan E or M train to 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue, or B, D, or F train to 47-50 Street Rockefeller Center

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About

Beyond the nostalgia that colors how we think about classical Hollywood films, there is also what critic Parker Tyler once described as its “monstrous and pernicious” influence on society and culture. And since relations between female and male characters figure heavily in virtually all of the studio system’s feature films and promotional materials, now more than ever it’s worth looking closely at the different ways gender roles and behavior were portrayed.

What Price Hollywood presents a wide range of movie posters, from the silent era through the 1960s, that epitomize the Hollywood marketing machine’s deployment (and occasional subversion) of masculine and feminine stereotypes. The exhibition highlights ways in which these graphic and photographic representations shaped—and continue to shape—the moviegoing public’s understanding of romance and sexuality; how the studios’ formulaic use of body language between male and female performers defined “standard” couplings; and how certain genres allowed subversive female agency and queer perspectives to sneak into poster art.

Along with the poster exhibition, a film series reveals how Hollywood manipulated erotic imagery onscreen, and how subtle, empowering performances by Barbara Stanwyck, Louise Brooks, Marlon Brando, and Gloria Grahame simultaneously upheld gender norms and hinted at alternative models of sexual identity.

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