Stephen Harvey, 43, associate curator in the Dept. of Film at the Museum of Modern Art, died Jan. 1 in New York of pneumonia and AIDS-related complications.
Educated at Stanford U. and NYU’s Dept. of Cinema Studies, Harvey joined the Museum’s Dept. of Film in 1972 and organized many popular film exhibitions, including “Rediscovering French Film” and “Directed by Vincente Minnelli.” On the occasion of the latter Harvey’s book of that title was published by Harper-Collins, recognized as the definitive volume on Minnelli’s career.
“Mr. Harvey was treasured by his colleagues and friends for his ready wit, his breadth of knowledge of film history, and his appreciation of his favorite screen actresses, from Joan Crawford and Anna Magnani to Jeanne Moreau,” said Mary Lea Bandy, director of MoMA’s Dept. of Film.
Harvey became assistant curator in 1983 and associate curator in 1989. A protege of curator Adrienne Mancia he co-organized with Mancia such important exhibitions as “Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Eyes of a Poet,””Anna Magnani” and “Comedy, Italian Style.” With curator Laurence Kardish, Harvey co-organized “STZ: The Films of Scola, Tavernier, and Zanussi.”
Solo he was curator for series on Michael Curtiz (currently on view at the Museum), Ida Lupino and Vittorio de Sica as well as salutes to 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. and Positif Magazine.
At the time of his death he was preparing a retrospective of films adapted from works by Henry James to coincide with the author’s 1993 sesquicentennial.
From 1976 to 1979 he organized “Looking at Film,” a lecture and film series at MoMA sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Besides working as film critic for Inquiry Magazine, theater critic for the Soho News and writing about theater for The Nation, Harvey frequently contributed to the New York Times, Village Voice, Newsday, Film Comment and Premiere Magazine.
He wrote monographs on Fred Astaire and Joan Crawford and penned the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s tributes to Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Claudette Colbert, Barbara Stanwyck and Billy Wilder. He also wrote the documentary film “Sanford Meisner: The Theater’s Best Kept Secret,” shown on PBS’ “American Masters” series.
A member of the National Society of Film Critics, he was named a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 1985.
Survived by his mother Ann Weisbart, father Gerald Harvey, two sisters and a brother.
A memorial service at MoMA is scheduled for March.