The Museum of Modern Art – MoMA
New York, United States
The Museum of Modern Art in New York, also known as MoMA, is one of the world’s most important museums of modern and contemporary visual arts, architecture, design, films, and new media.
The Museum of Modern Art, main entrance on West 53rd Street, photo by xfotox
Building and location
Founded in 1929, since 1939 The Museum of Modern Art is housed in its current home in Midtown Manhattan, not far from Central Park.
Over time, the museum building, designed by Philip L. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone, has been renovated and enlarged many times: in 1951 with the Grace Rainey Rogers Annex designed by Philip Johnson; in 1984 with the West Wing expansion by Cesar Pelli; in 2004 with an expansion and a major renovation completed after a design by Yoshio Taniguchi and, in 2006, with the new Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building.
A new 50,000-square-foot expansion project is currently under development by the architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro. When the expansion will be completed, the gross floor area of the museum will reach a total of 744,000 square feet.
Photo by t-mizo
The museum lobby today, after the 2004 redesign by Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, photo by Ed Schipul
View of the lobby during the museum inauguration on May 10, 1939, photo courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art
The museum sculpture garden with the “Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building” in the background, photo by Joseph O. Holmes
Ground floor plan of the museum, image © Taniguchi & Associates
What to see at the Museum of Modern Art
Since its 1939 relocation, MoMA is based on a multi-departmental structure, with six departments respectively dedicated to Architecture and Design; Drawings, Film and Video; Media and Performance art; Painting and Sculpture; Photography; and Prints and Illustrated Books.
The museum’s collections include over 150,000 artworks and artifacts, along with 22,000 films. This enormous patrimony – which covers a broad range of subjects, means of expression and time periods – is displayed on a rotational basis through thematic exhibitions, in order to provide the visitors always fresh experiences.
The MoMA fine arts collection is one of the most important in the world, perhaps the most important dedicated to modern art, and includes an impressively large array of masterpieces by artists ranging from Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso to Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon, up to many among the most acclaimed contemporary artists. Just to make an example, the Water Lilies painting by Claude Monet alone is worth the visit to the museum.
Claude Monet, Water Lilies, The Museum of Modern Art – New York, photo by Daniel Miller
Installation view of the 1967 exhibition, “Jackson Pollock,” The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photographic Archive
Pablo Picasso, Night Fishing at Antibes, 1939, oil on canvas; image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Designed by Philip Johnson in 1953, The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden accommodates a remarkable array of sculptural works, including pieces by Aristide Maillol, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Henri Matisse, Alexander Calder, Jean Tinguely, and Alberto Giacometti, among others.
Panoramic view of the sculpture garden, photo by Steve Guttman
All MoMA’s departmental collections are of the highest quality; for example, the collection of design is widely considered the most important in the world in its field.
The exhibition “A collection of Ideas”, 2014, installation view, photo by Rene van der Hulst, courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art
Installation view of the exhibition “Good Design”, The Museum of Modern Art, November 27, 1951, through January 27, 1952. Image courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York. Photo by Soichi Sunami
The Museum of Modern Art organizes temporary exhibitions, guided tours, conferences, seminars, learning classes and educational activities for children and families.
The museum includes six thematic research centers, auditoriums, a film archive, a library, three stores, two cafés, and a restaurant. The MoMA building is fully accessible to wheelchair users.
The Museum of Modern Art has a branch in the Queens neighborhood, the MoMA PS1.
Expansion and renovation of The Museum of Modern Art, architectural competition sketch, © Yoshio Taniguchi, 2004
“Unconventional masterpieces” of the MoMA: Ellsworth Kelly, Locust Acacia from Suite of Plant Lithographs 1965-66, image courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York
Cover image: MoMA, The David and Peggy Rockefeller Building at night, photo by Ray_LAC
With “From the Collection: 1960–1969”, the MoMA reinstalls its 4th-floor collection galleries with works from all 6 of its curatorial departments
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