IWalked New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
The Museum of Modern Art (or MOMA as it is commonly referred to as), is New York City’s home to modern and contemporary art. Inside you will find over 150,000 pieces of art and 22,000 films in its archives. The MOMA is actively involved in film preservation, as a large number of movies from our past have already been lost to the effects of time. It is estimated that over 50% of movies created prior to 1950, and 90% of all silent movies are already beyond any hope of preservation. Other highlights of interest within the MOMA are Van Goh’s Starry Night (1889), Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans (1962), and an aptly titled restaurant called The Modern.
The Museum of Modern Art is open for visitation during the hours of 10:30 am – 5:30 pm on most days (Sun, Mon, Wed, Thur, Sat), and on Fridays there are extended hours until 8 pm. The museum is closed on Tuesdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission is of course subject to change but as of 2012 is $25 for adults, $18 for senior citizens, $14 for students, and children under 14 are free. The MOMA is unfortunately one of the more expensive museums within the city, so also be sure to check their website where they are currently running specials for free admission on select Friday evenings from 4 – 8:30 pm. To help you a bit in your explorations, you should be aware that films are shown on the lower level, the first floor contains rotating exhibits, photography is based on the 2nd floor, prints on the 3rd, and paintings/sculptures are mixed amongst the 2nd and 3rd floors.
As to the origins of the Museum of Modern Art, it was started via the efforts of the wife of John D. Rockefeller (Abby Aldrich Rockefeller) and two of her friends (Mary Quinn Sullivan and Lillie P. Bliss) in 1928. It was originally located at730 Fifth Avenue within the Heckscher Building and it relocated three more times before settling to its current offices in 1939. The current MOMA building, constructed in the International Style, was designed by Philip Goodwin and Edwin Durell Stone. On the building’s opening on May 10, 1939, then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt provided a welcome speech (albeit remotely via a radio address). The museum expanded on multiple occasions during the 1950s and 1960s including the addition of a sculpture garden that was designed by Philip Johnson (noted for the nearby Sony Building and Seagram Building). In 1984 a 53-story apartment was added atop the existing museum to assist in raising funds for expansion. That expansion occurred in 2004 when Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi assisted on a design that expanded floor space for the museum by nearly 50%. One final popular addition to the museum was actually an addition to its sculptural garden. In July 2010, Yoko Ono donated a work titled, “Wish Tree” where you can “Make a wish. Write it down on a piece of paper. Fold it and tie it around a branch of the wish tree.”
Address: 11 West 53rd Street, New York City, NY
IWalked Audio Tours To See This Site: New York City’s Upper Midtown. (Purchase the MP3 tour here. iPhone application tour is available here. Please note, all NYC tours are now available as in-app purchases upon download of our FREE NYC Lite application, which includes a free 1.5 hour tour of a portion of the Upper West Side.)