Mission

The primary focus of the MUUS Collection is to bring together American photography archives from the twentieth century.

Our mission as custodians of this collection is to make visible these exceptional photography archives through exhibitions, scholarship, donations, licensing, and the printing of images and books.

About

The MUUS Collection brings together photographic works that mark major turning points in American history, ultimately creating a road map of our shared past. We believe in the unique power of photography as an inimitable touchstone of collective cultural memory, and it is our goal to preserve and promote these invaluable artifacts for generations to come.

As a functional archive, the MUUS Collection builds, preserves, studies, and shares its outstanding collections of American photography, generating new scholarship and understanding, while instigating interesting and relevant dialogues within the wider photography community. The combined art, archival, and research materials that make up the MUUS Collection ultimately serve to deepen our appreciation of how photography impacts society.

We are dedicated to the critical understanding of historical photography and related media, and aim to highlight the ways in which the visual arts can facilitate a reflection of our shared American history. Where did we come from, and where are we going? What have we learned from our victories and mistakes, and how can we filter these lessons productively through our current moment?

“From that time, I never did a show or went to a party — or threw one — without him guiding me. Every show I did, I performed in his living room first. In him there was tastefulness, style, and simplicity.”

Liza Minnelli met fashion designer Halston when she was 20 years old, and the two hit it off immediately, sparking a lifelong friendship. We’re putting the spotlight on them today for #InternationalDayofFriendship.

Once Minnelli and Halston met, Halston dressed her for all of her events, and Minnelli would often perform at his. Just one of the notable designs Halston put on Minnelli was the all-yellow ensemble she wore to the 1973 Oscars, where she accepted the “Best Actress” award for her role in Cabaret. She also performed the song “Bonjour Paris!” at the Battle of Versailles fashion show, in which 5 American designers including Halston faced off against 5 French designers, in one of the first instances of American designers showing their work in France.

Even after Halston was deposed from his company, the two remained close. They were inseparable right until the time of Halston’s passing in 1990, due to AIDs-related cancer. To this day, Minnelli holds their friendship close to her heart, and refuses to give Halston anything but praise in the public eye.

Halston’s and Minnelli’s stories have also recently been told in the Netflix series “Halston”, featuring Ewan McGregor as the designer, and Krysta Rodriguez as Minnelli.

Here, the two enjoy a party at Studio 54 in New York City. which they habitually frequented together. Shot by Allan Tannenbaum @soho_blues.

© Allan Tannenbaum//MUUS Collection
“From that time, I never did a show or went to a party — or threw one — without him guiding me. Every show I did, I performed in his living room first. In him there was tastefulness, style, and simplicity.” Liza Minnelli met fashion designer Halston when she was 20 years old, and the two hit it off immediately, sparking a lifelong friendship. We’re putting the spotlight on them today for #InternationalDayofFriendship. Once Minnelli and Halston met, Halston dressed her for all of her events, and Minnelli would often perform at his. Just one of the notable designs Halston put on Minnelli was the all-yellow ensemble she wore to the 1973 Oscars, where she accepted the “Best Actress” award for her role in Cabaret. She also performed the song “Bonjour Paris!” at the Battle of Versailles fashion show, in which 5 American designers including Halston faced off against 5 French designers, in one of the first instances of American designers showing their work in France. Even after Halston was deposed from his company, the two remained close. They were inseparable right until the time of Halston’s passing in 1990, due to AIDs-related cancer. To this day, Minnelli holds their friendship close to her heart, and refuses to give Halston anything but praise in the public eye. Halston’s and Minnelli’s stories have also recently been told in the Netflix series “Halston”, featuring Ewan McGregor as the designer, and Krysta Rodriguez as Minnelli. Here, the two enjoy a party at Studio 54 in New York City. which they habitually frequented together. Shot by Allan Tannenbaum @soho_blues. © Allan Tannenbaum//MUUS Collection
“From that time, I never did a show or went to a party — or threw one — without him guiding me. Every show I did, I performed in his living room first. In him there was tastefulness, style, and simplicity.”

Liza Minnelli met fashion designer Halston when she was 20 years old, and the two hit it off immediately, sparking a lifelong friendship. We’re putting the spotlight on them today for #InternationalDayofFriendship.

Once Minnelli and Halston met, Halston dressed her for all of her events, and Minnelli would often perform at his. Just one of the notable designs Halston put on Minnelli was the all-yellow ensemble she wore to the 1973 Oscars, where she accepted the “Best Actress” award for her role in Cabaret. She also performed the song “Bonjour Paris!” at the Battle of Versailles fashion show, in which 5 American designers including Halston faced off against 5 French designers, in one of the first instances of American designers showing their work in France.

Even after Halston was deposed from his company, the two remained close. They were inseparable right until the time of Halston’s passing in 1990, due to AIDs-related cancer. To this day, Minnelli holds their friendship close to her heart, and refuses to give Halston anything but praise in the public eye.

Halston’s and Minnelli’s stories have also recently been told in the Netflix series “Halston”, featuring Ewan McGregor as the designer, and Krysta Rodriguez as Minnelli.

Here, the two enjoy a party at Studio 54 in New York City. which they habitually frequented together. Shot by Allan Tannenbaum @soho_blues.

© Allan Tannenbaum//MUUS Collection
“From that time, I never did a show or went to a party — or threw one — without him guiding me. Every show I did, I performed in his living room first. In him there was tastefulness, style, and simplicity.” Liza Minnelli met fashion designer Halston when she was 20 years old, and the two hit it off immediately, sparking a lifelong friendship. We’re putting the spotlight on them today for #InternationalDayofFriendship. Once Minnelli and Halston met, Halston dressed her for all of her events, and Minnelli would often perform at his. Just one of the notable designs Halston put on Minnelli was the all-yellow ensemble she wore to the 1973 Oscars, where she accepted the “Best Actress” award for her role in Cabaret. She also performed the song “Bonjour Paris!” at the Battle of Versailles fashion show, in which 5 American designers including Halston faced off against 5 French designers, in one of the first instances of American designers showing their work in France. Even after Halston was deposed from his company, the two remained close. They were inseparable right until the time of Halston’s passing in 1990, due to AIDs-related cancer. To this day, Minnelli holds their friendship close to her heart, and refuses to give Halston anything but praise in the public eye. Halston’s and Minnelli’s stories have also recently been told in the Netflix series “Halston”, featuring Ewan McGregor as the designer, and Krysta Rodriguez as Minnelli. Here, the two enjoy a party at Studio 54 in New York City. which they habitually frequented together. Shot by Allan Tannenbaum @soho_blues. © Allan Tannenbaum//MUUS Collection
Here, participants march down 6th Avenue during a #PrideParade in 1994, with a sign that reads "AIDS: WHERE IS YOUR RAGE? ACT UP” This is one of the slogans of the activist group, ACT UP (AIDS Coalition Group to Unleash Power).

Perhaps one of the most well known AIDS advocacy groups, they describe themselves as such:
“ACT UP is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals, united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. We meet with government officials, we distribute the latest medical information, we protest and demonstrate. We are not silent.
 
 ACT UP was formed in response to social neglect, government negligence and the complacency of the medical establishment during the 1980s. Soon it found itself needing to fight corporate greed, lack of solidarity and various forms of stigma and discrimination at home and abroad.
While ACT UP has an incredible history, HIV/AIDS is not history. HIV/AIDS is very much with us. And we call on you to join our fight to end AIDS.”

ACT UP was founded in March 1987, when powerhouse activist and writer Larry Kramer gave a speech at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in NYC. According to “AIDS Demographics” by Douglas Crimp, Kramer posed the question, “Do we want to start a new organization devoted solely to political action?” To the enthusiasm of his audience, a meeting to form such an organization was arranged. Two days later, 300 people gathered to form @actupny.

Though Kramer passed away last summer at age 84, his legacy lives on through his written works and through the ongoing work of ACT UP.
Here, participants march down 6th Avenue during a #PrideParade in 1994, with a sign that reads "AIDS: WHERE IS YOUR RAGE? ACT UP” This is one of the slogans of the activist group, ACT UP (AIDS Coalition Group to Unleash Power). Perhaps one of the most well known AIDS advocacy groups, they describe themselves as such: “ACT UP is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals, united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis. We meet with government officials, we distribute the latest medical information, we protest and demonstrate. We are not silent. ACT UP was formed in response to social neglect, government negligence and the complacency of the medical establishment during the 1980s. Soon it found itself needing to fight corporate greed, lack of solidarity and various forms of stigma and discrimination at home and abroad. While ACT UP has an incredible history, HIV/AIDS is not history. HIV/AIDS is very much with us. And we call on you to join our fight to end AIDS.” ACT UP was founded in March 1987, when powerhouse activist and writer Larry Kramer gave a speech at the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center in NYC. According to “AIDS Demographics” by Douglas Crimp, Kramer posed the question, “Do we want to start a new organization devoted solely to political action?” To the enthusiasm of his audience, a meeting to form such an organization was arranged. Two days later, 300 people gathered to form @actupny. Though Kramer passed away last summer at age 84, his legacy lives on through his written works and through the ongoing work of ACT UP.