On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the MoMA, the New York museum underwent a large-scale renovation. In October 2019 it opened its doors to the general public once again. This celebration also brought forth this beautiful book that lists all the museum's highlights and shows the diversity of the collection.
The story of the MoMA begins in 1929 with three women who were not afraid to express their passion for art and their ambitious vision: Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Lillie Bliss and May Quinn Sullivan. Another important player in the early years of the Museum of Modern Art was Alfred H. Barr, who became the first director of the new art institute at the age of 27. He organised a number of high-profile exhibitions, and with his interdisciplinary approach, Barr ensured that architecture, industrial design, photography and film were given a place in the museum alongside the more traditional forms of art.
Despite his success and the status that was attributed to him from his position, Barr was always very modest about the exemplary role of a museum. "The Museum collects works radically different in purpose, medium, school and generation. Who will say what is really important? The public is often slow to comprehend; critics and museum people are notoriously blind. Even the artist is no sure guide..." In a sense, this is still how the MoMA manages to maintain its relevance almost a hundred years after its inception. Earlier this year, Ann Temkin, head curator of the painting and sculpture department, told the following in an interview: "I think the overall goal [of the rehang] is to point out the plenitude of art over the past 150 years, and the richness of all the many directions. Now it’s a ‘pluriverse’, not a universe. MoMA is not here to say this is better and this is worse, or this is right and this is wrong—which I’m not sure we ever did as much as we’ve been caricatured as doing—but instead just say, here is what we think is fascinating and outstanding.”
A beautiful book that highlights all the highlights of the museum and the diversity of the collection.
This unique and diverse collection is once again highlighted in this publication. The book is also not conceived as a comprehensive overview, but rather as a voyage of discovery with suggestions of how you can view, experience and interpret art. It contains iconic works by Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo and Andy Warhol, as well as lesser-known artists and design objects, architecture and film documentaries.
An absolute must-have, and you can now buy it at a favourable price!
Salvador Dali. The Persistence of Memory. 1931. Oil on canvas, 9 1/2 x 13″ (24.1 x 33 cm). Given anonymously. © 2004 Salvador Dali, Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photographed by Jonathan Muzikar.
Images Top to Bottom, left to right:
Vincent van Gogh. The Starry Night. Saint Rémy, June 1889. Oil on canvas. 29 x 36 1/4 in. (73.7 x 92.1 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest. ©Photographed by Jonathan Muzikar.
Installation view of Around Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (Gallery 503), The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp
Installation view of Action Painting I (gallery 403), The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Heidi Bohnenkamp
Tarsila do Amaral (Brazilian, 1886-1973). The Moon (A Lua). 1928. Oil on canvas, 43 1/3 x 43 1/3 in. (110 x 110 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase.
Henri Rousseau. The Dream. 1910. Oil on canvas. 6′ 8 1/2″ x 9′ 9 1/2″ (204.5 x 298.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller.