NYC MoMA Collection | Art Collection at Museum of Modern Art
New York City is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, offering many fun attractions and activities to visitors. From visiting the Statue of Liberty to climbing the top of the Empire State Building, there is no shortage of places to explore in NYC. If all of this wasn’t enough, NYC is also home to a few world-class museums.
The Museum of Modern Art is one of the largest museums of modern art in the world and a must-visit in NYC. Read more about the MoMA art collection and the artists whose work can be found on a visit to this museum.
What is NYC MoMA?
In 1929, the MoMA art collection had only 8 prints and 1 drawing. Currently, the evolving MoMA collection is made up of over 200,000 artworks including paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, architecture, film, media, design, and more.
On the 5th floor galleries of the MoMA Museum, you can find artworks from the years 1880 - 1940. There are galleries devoted to an artist such as Henri Matisse or a specific creative medium. A few of the famous artworks that you can find on this floor are the Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picasso (503) and Water Lilies by Claude Monet (515), among others. There are several galleries with new artworks on display where you can observe surrealism, portraits, abstract artwork, and more.
The completed works of artists between 1940 and 1970 can be found on the 4th floor of the MoMA Museum. From architecture and design to printing, you will find all kinds of artworks in the galleries here. A few famous works to look out on this floor are The Swimming Pool by Henri Matisse (406B), Andy Warhol’s Empire (411), and Andy Warhol’s Gold Marilyn Monroe and Francis Bacon’s Study for Three Heads (421).
If you are looking for artworks from the 1970s to the present year, then head to the 2nd floor of the Museum of Modern Art. The artworks here are arranged in loose chronological order with each gallery exploring a particular topic, such as artist, a medium, or discipline. Some of the best works to look out for here are We Hold Where Study by Wu Tsang (213), Whose Utopia by Cao Fei (212), and Dumping Core by Gretchen Bender (204).
NYC MoMA Collection Highlights
- Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night (1889): An iconic oil painting that is a major artwork from the Impressionist period, The Starry Night landscape was inspired by the year Van Gogh spent at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum in France. One can view this masterpiece in gallery 501 of Floor 5 of the MoMA Museum.
- Henri Rousseau, The Sleeping Gypsy (1897): The Sleeping Gypsy depicts a dark-skinned woman sleeping peacefully as a lion slowly sniffs at her shoulder. It can be found at gallery 501 Floor 5 of the Museum of Modern Art.
- Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907): One of the most popular works of Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon displays the angular representation of women in a brothel. Visitors can find this artwork in gallery 503 on Floor 5 of NYC MoMA.
- Henri Matisse, The Piano Lesson (1916): The Piano Lesson is a personal piece by Henri Matisse that shows his son, Pierre, and his inevitable introduction to manhood. It can be found in gallery 506 of Floor 5 in the Museum of Modern Art.
- Kazimir Malevich, White on White (1918): White on White is an attempt by the artist to reach transcendence via supreme manifestation. This radical painting can be viewed in gallery 507 of Floor 5 of the MoMA Museum.
- Salvador Dalì, The Persistence of Memory (1931): The artist calls this artwork ‘hand-painted dream photographs’ and one can notice the abstract flow in this painting. It is considered one of the best works in surrealism and can be found in gallery 517 of Floor 5 in the MoMA Museum.
- Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair (1940): Frida Kahlo is well-known for her self-portraits and her artwork, Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair focuses on her separation from her husband and her newfound autonomy. One can find this painting in gallery 517 of Floor 5 at NYC MoMA.
- Lee Bontecou, Untitled (1961): Lee Bontecou made this piece with canvas from conveyor belts discarded by the laundry. The void at the center of the painting shows anxiety as this artwork was made during a pivotal year in the Americans’ lives. This painting is available in gallery 408 of Floor 4 in NYC MoMA.
- Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans (1962): One of the major artworks in the pop art genre, this artwork is a collection of 32 canvases that display Campbell’s soup cans in different flavors. Check out this artwork in gallery 412 on Floor 4 of the Museum of Modern Art.
- Roy Lichtenstein, Drowning Girl (1963): Known for Pop Art, Roy Lichtenstein’s Drowning Girl is a part of the Permanent Collection of MoMA but is currently not on view. The printing method and the use of the speech bubble give it a comic book feel and have been said to be a ‘masterpiece in melodrama’.
Founded in 1935, the Film Library at MoMA has now over 30,000 films and 1.5 million stills. One of the best international film collections, this film library has films from all periods and genres. In the MoMA collection, you will find original negatives of Biograph and Edison companies. And if that’s not enough, the Film Library is also the largest collector of Griffith films in the world. The entire collection is safely stored in the Museum’s Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center.
Architecture and Design
Visitors can find over 28,000 architecture and design artworks spanning from the mid-19th century to the present date. The collection includes large-scale design projects, architectural models, and works on paper.
The architecture collection of MoMA includes building models, photographs, and drawings. The design collection includes a vast range of objects such as furniture, appliances, textiles, cars, and more. There is also a graphic design collection consisting of posters, typography, and other forms of text and images.
Media and Performance
MoMA houses time-based art dating since the 1960s. In the department, located on the third floor of The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, you will find moving images, film installations, video, performance, motion- and sound-based works, and other works that represent time or duration.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has a holding of more than 25,000 works of photography that has been curated since 1930. Keeping with MoMA's interdisciplinary methods, the collection includes work not only by photographers, but also by journalists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and amateurs.
Artwork in Public Spaces
After the reopening of the NYC MoMA Museum in 2019, the museum trustees decided to display six long-term artworks in the public spaces to celebrate the reopening. These site-specific contemporary artworks can be found in the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Lobby, the Carroll and Milton Petrie Terrace Cafe, Cafe 2, the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, and the Louise Reinhardt Smith Gallery. In these public spaces, visitors will see the new artworks by Yoko Ono, Kerstin Bratsch, Goshka Macuga, Phillippe Parreno, and Experimental Jetset.
Furthermore, Haim Steinbach’s large-scale work, acquired at the reopening, is also on view in the public space spaces.
The Museum of Modern Art Library is a non-circulation collection of modern and contemporary art. It includes prints, painting, sculpture, architecture, drawings, design, video, film, performance, and emerging art films from 1880 to the present. It also holds a collection of photographs since 1830. There are approximately 300,000 books and exhibition logs, more than 1,000 periodic titles, and 40,000 files on artists and their groups.
The MoMA Library’s catalog is known as Dadabase. This catalog has information on all the materials available in the Library such as periodicals, books, artists’ books, pamphlet files, and more. All researchers can access the library materials by taking an appointment from the proper authorities.
- Everyone above the age of 2 is required to wear a mask. Visitors can get a complimentary mask at MoMA.
- All visitors must show proof of at least one dose of Covid-19 Vaccination.
- Do not touch any artwork inside the MoMA museum until there is a sign saying it is okay to do so.
- Visitors can sketch or write in their notepads with pencil only inside the Museum of Modern Art.
- Guests can click photographs for personal use but videography is not permitted. Use of flash, extension poles, and tripods is strictly not permitted.
- Visitors can bring baby strollers to MoMA Museum but there is limited accessibility for the strollers and they are not allowed on the escalators.
- It is advised to book your tickets to view MoMA art online and in advance.
- There are wheelchair-accessible washrooms and baby changing rooms available on every floor of the MoMA Museum.
- Visitors with a disability can borrow a wheelchair from the counter during their visit.
- Outside food or beverages is not permitted in MoMA.
All Your Questions About MoMA Collection Answered
A. There are almost 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art in the MoMA Museum.
A. The first MoMA art collection consisted of 8 prints and 1 drawing. The artwork was a donation by Paul J. Sachs, one of the 7 founding trustees of the MoMA museum.
A. There is no fixed number of exhibitions held at the MoMA Museum every year. However, in 2021, there are over 100 exhibitions held at MoMA.
A. Some of the most famous paintings that can be found in the MoMA Collection are The Starry Night (Vincent Van Gogh), Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (Pablo Picasso), The Dream (Henri Rousseau), Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair (Frida Kahlo), and more.
A. Out of the 200,000 artworks in the MoMA collection, over 92,000 artworks can be viewed online.
A. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is an art museum dedicated to creating and collecting modern art. It is known to be one of the largest and most influential modern art museums in the world.
A. MoMA collection consists of over 200,000 artworks from around the world that spans over the last 150 years.
A. NYC MoMA’s collection consists of over 30,000 films and 1.5 million film stills.