Museum of Modern Art

Museum of Modern Art - MOMA

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is located in midtown Manhattan, in the heart of skyscrapers, theaters, and restaurants. Founded in 1929, the MOMA, as it is known locally, was the brainchild of three prominent society ladies, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Mary Sullivan, and Lillie P. Bliss. The mission, then and now, is to be the "greatest museum of modern art in the world". The museum, which opened with just eight paintings and one print, now features over 150,000 pieces of art as well as thousands of film archives.


The Museum of Modern Art was the first New York museum to focus exclusively on Modern Art. Under its original director, Alfred H. Barr Jr., the museum expanded quickly in its first ten years, moving three times to larger quarters within that period, finally settling in midtown in 1939.

The Structure

The current MOMA building opened in November 2004 and replaced the 1939 structure. The new building, designed by renowned Japanese architect, Yoshio Taniguchi, almost doubles the former exhibit space. Highlights of the light-filled 640,000 square foot museum are the ten-story atrium and the serene and contemplative Abby Aldrich Rockefeller sculpture garden. The new museum facilities also include two film screening theaters, a 150-seat auditorium, and an extensive research library.

The Collection

The Museum of Modern Art is considered by many to have the most significant collection of modern masterpieces in the world. Highlights of the museum’s 150,000 piece permanent collection include Van Gogh’s "Starry Night", Dali’s "The Persistence of Memory", Picasso’s "Les Demoiselles d’Avignon", Matisse’s "Dance", and Cezanne’s "The Bather". The museum also has multiple works from important American painters, including Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollack, Edward Hopper, and Jasper Johns.

The MOMA was one of the first museums in the world to recognize and begin collecting photography and film as an art form. Consequently the museum’s 20th century photography collection is one of the world’s most comprehensive. Noteworthy are the collections of works by Edward Streichen and John Szarkowski. The film archives include over 22,000 films and over 4 million film stills.

The design collection includes such varied and unique pieces as furniture by Eames, Lazslo, and Noguchi as well as industrial art, including a self-aligning ball bearing and an entire Bell 47D1 helicopter.

Visiting the Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art is open Wednesdays through Mondays (closed on Tuesdays) every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The museum is located in the heart of midtown and easily accessible via the city’s subway and bus system. Discounted parking is available with a museum validation at a nearby parking lot. Hours vary, but the museum is open late at least one night a week.

Admission to the MOMA for Children under 16 years of age are admitted free, as are museum members.

Facilities at the museum include three restaurants: Café 2 is an Italian-style, casual eatery, featuring homemade pastas, panini, soups, salads, and desserts. Orders are taken at a service counter and the food is brought to your table. Terrace 5 is a full-service restaurant overlooking the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller sculpture garden and the city beyond.

The Modern is a fine-dining restaurant, also overlooking the sculpture garden. This restaurant has its own entrance and operates independent of museum hours.

The MOMA gift shop is a fascinating emporium of cards, prints, jewelry, giftware, replicas of museum sculptures, and over 2000 book titles. Across the street from the museum is the MOMA design store, a stylish store, filled with museum-inspired furniture, lighting, and other household items.

Location: at 11 W. 53rd Street, New York City, New York
Phone: 212-708-9400

Click here to visit MOMA official website.