Two major art museums anchor NYC’s incredibly rich collection of art. the first is ‘The Met’, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the second is the Museum of Modern Art or MOMA as it is sually called. MOMA is regarded as the most influential museum pof mdoern art in the world.
It got its start in 1829, due to the enthusiasm of Abbie Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of John D Rockefeller, and 2 of her female friends Lillie P Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan. They were committed to bringing modern art to NYC and had their first major and very successful exhibition in 1935 of the works of Vincent Van Gogh and then had an even more famous exhibition in 1939-40 of Picasso works.
Right from its beginning the museum sought to extend its collection beyond oils, drawing and other art works created by modern European masters, From the beginning the Director and other staff recognized film as the new art form of the 20th Century and the there is a rich and very well stocked film archive from all over the world. It also holds drawings and models from famous architects and furniture and other things designed by famous designers. There is also an excellent photographic archive.
Located now at 11 West 53rd St, MOMA bounced around from place to place initially depending on what money was available to it. However Abbie Rockefeller’s husband John, initially opposed to the museum finally donated the land on which it is currently located. The museum, closely assocaited with Rockefeller family members from succeeding generations, sustains itself from donations, income from the museum and the sale of property it owns.
Though the current building has extensive exhibition space, which is constantly expanding as well, it cannot match the vast echoing chambers of The Met so all caveats that apply to very popular tourist sites in NYC apply here. Arrive early or arrive late because from mid morning it is normally chock full of people. It always great exhibtions on, so go to http://www.moma.org/ to see what is on. They are often a quieter alternative than braving one of the packed galleries.
MOMA is more expensive than some other Museums at $25 per adult but they have discounts for seniors and students and children under 16 are free. It also has the famous late friday FREE entrance after 4pm which is a great standby for MOMA enthusiasts who tire of forking out $25 every time they go. As well as food stalls of different kinds throughout the museum, there is an excellent restaurant which looks over the sculpture garden which is dedicated to Abbie Rockefeller. And there is a very good museum shop.
It’s collection is amazing, see the video for some representive examples, though heavens knows when the filming was done the galleries look so empty. It is an absolute must see if you are a lover of mdoern art. Because of the excellence of its collection MOMA is in the list of the top 10 tourist attractions in NYC.