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Everything you need to know about the Museum of Modern Art in NYC

The Museum of Modern Art aims to provide a space to the art of our times and is dedicated exclusively to the most progressive tendencies in modern art. Located in midtown Manhattan, it is one of the first muse...

Also Known As

MoMA

Founded On

1929

Founded By

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)Museum of Modern Art

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RECOMMENDED DURATION

3 hours

VISITORS PER YEAR

2190440

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From $ 30

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Fun facts

MoMA's remarkable growth: The Museum of Modern Art began with just eight prints and one drawing back in 1929. From these humble beginnings, it has now grown its collection to over 200,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects.

The Rockefeller connection: One of the founding patrons of the Museum of Modern Art, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, is the daughter-in-law of John D. Rockefeller. John D. Rockefeller is widely considered the richest American and biggest philanthropist in modern history.

The MoMA own guard dog: In 1933, Don, a German Shepherd, was given to The Museum of Modern Art by Vanity Fair magazine. Don had been instituted as a guard dog at MoMA after a highly publicized burglary at the Brooklyn Museum.




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Why is the NYC Museum of Modern Art so famous?

Since the Museum of Modern Art started in 1929, the museum has become a space to develop and curate modern art. Over 9 decades, MoMA has come to be recognized as one of the most influential and integral repositories of modern Western masterpieces. Today, MoMA has a dual purpose: showcasing and preserving history through its permanent collection and creating a space for some of the newest and most important contemporary works of modern art. MoMA's curated collection includes works of architecture, design, painting, sculpture, photography, illustrated books, film, artist’s books, and electronic media.

Collection highlights

MoMA's collection includes more than 150,000 individual pieces, 22,000 films and 4 million film stills.

Museum of Modern Art Drawing & Prints
Museum of Modern Art NYC - Paintings & Sculpture
Museum of Modern Art NYC Film
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Museum of Modern Art Nyc

MoMA's history in a nutshell

  • The idea for the Museum of Modern Art was born in 1929.
  • On November 7, 1929, nine days after the Wall Street Crash, MoMA open to the public out of the Heckscher Building at 730 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
  • Its first successful loan exhibition was in November 1929. Paintings by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Seurat were displayed.
  • In 1931, MoMA hosted its first exhibition to focus on a single artist. They showcased more than 130 works of Henri Matisse.
  • The famous Picasso retrospective was held between 1939–40, helping it gain international significance.
  • In 1939, Abby Rockefeller's son, Nelson, was selected as MoMA's president by the board of trustees.
  • Soon after, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden was created to honor Abby.
  • In 1939, MoMA moved to its address on 53rd street.
  • On April 15, 1958, a fire broke out on the second floor of MoMA. An 18-foot long Monet's Water Lilies painting was destroyed.
  • In 1997, the museum went through a renovation under Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi.
  • They began offering free online classes in April 2014.
  • In 2000, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center became an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art.
  • The Museum of Modern Art went through its last round of renovations from June to October 2019.

Who founded the Museum of Modern Art?

MoMA library

The MoMA library features a collection that focuses on modern and contemporary art just like the parent museum. Its noncirculating collection includes painting, sculpture, prints, photography, film, and other art forms dating from the 1880s to the present. The library is also home to 300,000 books and exhibition catalogues, 1,000 periodicals, and 40,000 files about artists and artistic groups. The library's catalog is called Dadabase.

About MoMA PS1

Founded in 1971 by Alanna Heiss as the Institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc, with the aim of converting abandoned spaces in NYC into exhibition spaces. In 1976, Heiss opened the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center and over time, became one of the leading contemporary art centers in New York.

In 2000, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center became an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art, in a bid to extend the reach of both institutions. Continuing its mission to promote contemporary art, today, MoMA PS1 is known for its exhibitions that put forward experimental and thought-provoking art.

Frequently asked questions about MoMA

Q. How much does it cost to visit MoMA in NYC?

A. The prices of tickets to the Museum of Modern Art starts at $30. You can purchase tickets to MoMA here.

Q. When was the MoMA founded.

A. MoMA was founded on 7 November 1929, nine days after the Wall Street Crash.

Q. Why was the Museum of Modern Art founded?

A. The idea for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was developed by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Lillie P. Bliss, and Mary Quinn Sullivan, who came to be known as "the Ladies" or "the adamantine ladies". They wanted to create a museum that would showcase European art like the ones they liked to see.

Q. Where is the MoMA located in New York?

A. MoMA is located at 11 W 53rd St, New York.

Q. What is the purpose of the Museum of Modern Art?

A. MoMA was created with the vision of sharing modern and contemporary art with the public. 90 years since, the museum continues to work towards this mission, but not only democratizing art, but also embracing interdisciplinary approaches that open up fresh new perspectives about art.

Q. What is the difference between MoMA and MoMA PS1?

A. MoMA PS1, which started out as a center dedicated to promoting contemporary artists, is an affiliate of Manhattan's MoMA. While MoMA collects and showcases famous modern art pieces, MoMA PS1 focuses on providing the space for new and innovative ideas by artists.

Q. Is the Museum of Modern Art worth visiting?

A. If you enjoy art, and art history, MoMA should be on your list of must-visit venues. Discover some of the greatest works of modern art by renowned artists like Monet, Matisse, Van Gogh, Seurat, and Chagall, at the MoMA.

Q. How big is the Museum of Modern Art?

A. With its 2019 renovation, MoMA added 47,000 square feet of gallery space. Its total floor area is 708,000 square feet.