Marylhurst University

Skip to content »

Robert Sitton Publishes Biography

Dr. Robert Sitton's biography, Lady in the Dark: Iris Barry and the Art of Film was published by Columbia University Press in April 2014.

Iris Barry (1895–1969) was a pivotal modern figure and one of the first intellectuals to treat film as an art form, appreciating its far-reaching, transformative power. In London, Barry pursued a career as a novelist, biographer and critic of motion pictures. In America, she founded the film department at the Museum of Modern Art and became its first curator, assuring film's critical legitimacy. She convinced powerful Hollywood figures to submit their work for exhibition, creating a new respect for film and prompting the founding of the International Federation of Film Archives. Barry continued to augment MoMA's film library until World War II, when she joined the Office of Strategic Services to develop pro-American films with Orson Welles, Walt Disney, John Huston and Frank Capra. Yet despite her patriotic efforts, Barry's "foreignness" and association with such filmmakers as Luis Buñuel made her the target of an anticommunist witch hunt. She eventually left for France and died in obscurity.

Drawing on letters, memorabilia and other documentary sources, Sitton reconstructs Barry's life and work while recasting the political involvement of artistic institutions in the 20th century.

During his book tour Sitton was interviewed on The Leonard Lopate Show, broadcast on the NPR affiliate station in New York City.

Robert Sitton is a faculty member in the Department of Culture & Media at Marylhurst University. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Duke University and worked on the cultural news staff of the New York Times, as director of film education for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and, in the 1970s, developed the Northwest Film Study Center of the Portland Art Museum.

Related News

See All News

Peace Pole Dedication Honors Diversity

Marylhurst University dedicated a Peace Pole on campus in January 2015, a gift from the Lake Oswego Rotary Club.

JTC Production Includes Work by Ivonne Saed

Ivonne Saed, English faculty, is one of the Los Porteños writers whose stories and poems will be performed as part of a Jewish Theatre Collaborative show January 25 - 27, 2015.

Calendar

See All Events

February 02, 2015

Why Did so Many Succumb to the Siren Song of Nazism?

Professor Brian Els, Department of History at University of Portland will speak about how Anthony Doerr’s novel, All the Light We Cannot See, tou...

READ MORE

February 12, 2015

Gero-Punk Salon

Join Jennifer Sasser, Ph.D., Gero-Punk Project founder, for an evening of engaging discussion. In her words, "To be a gero-punk is to bravely and c...

READ MORE

February 15, 2015

Music in the Woods: Justin Kagan, Bill Crane and the Musical Emergency Response Team

Cellist Justin Kagan and pianist Bill Crane perform with Musical Emergency Response Team. “MERT” takes on challenging scores and works urgently...

READ MORE

GIVE

Support Marylhurst University. Gifts of all sizes make a difference!

DONATE NOW

©2013 Marylhurst University