If you’re in for the love of contemporary art, then New York’s Museum of Modern Art is a must-see, situated in 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, Midtown Manhattan. The institution has been a major influence in the development and staging of modern art. The Museum of Modern Art, a.k.a. MoMA, is hailed to be one of the largest and most influential in the world with avant-garde pieces.
MoMA’s History and Expansion
The Museum of Modern Art was established in 1929, with Alfred H. Barr serving as the museum’s founding director. Founding trustees Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Lillie Bliss, and Mary Quinn Sullivan have committed to dedicating the institution exclusively to progressive leanings of the modern era. The building that was planned by Philip Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone was expanded in 1939. This addition, designed by Philip Johnson, later planned a garden for the museum. In 1984, a condominium tower and a west wing were added as an exhibition space. In 2004, Architect Yoshio Taniguchi designed another expansion and did several modifications for MoMA. The exhibit space became larger. Skylights were added, the main entrance relocated, and a research and education complex was also built.
What to See
From the time it was launched, its comprehensive collection of American and European art collections has grown. MoMA’s rich collection started with initial pieces of eight prints and a drawing. Today, the collection has increased to over 150,000 paintings, sculpture pieces, prints, photographs, architectural models, and design objects. It holds over 22,000 films and an estimated 4 million film stills. The Library and Archives present over 300,000 books, of artists, periodicals, end extensive files of more than 70,000 artists and groups.
The museum has vast holdings of paintings in Cubism, Surrealism, and Abstract Expression techniques. Among the classic collection highlights in the museum are Claude Monet’s Water Lilies, The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh and Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso. You can also view the current works of Elizabeth Murray, Andy Warhol, and Cindy Sherman to name a few. MoMA also hosts contemporary exhibitions, film screenings, and a variety of educational programs such as artist talks and family workshops.
There is indeed always more to discover in MoMA’s arts.