Facebook Logo Instagram Logo

Discover what made the future: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

The Museum of Modern Art has an enormous library of books, periodicals and files called the “Dadabase” – see Dadaism…

Located in Midtown Manhattan, the MoMA moved through a few different locations before finding its home on land donated by John D. Rockefeller Jr. He was opposed to getting involved at first, probably due to his strong conservative roots, but his wife Abby won him over. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan started the museum in 1929 out of a modest spot in the Hecksher Building.

The first president was A. Conger Goodyear. Goodyear, an experienced collector, became president and founding member in 1932 when the board was established. Soichi Sunami, popular in her own right, became the documentary photographer for the museum in 1930 and stayed in that role for nearly forty years. The museum was one of the first to showcase European artwork with Vincent van Gogh appearing in the first month and then later for a solo exhibition of over 100 pieces, including excerpts of his letters. This intimate look into van Gogh played a big role in establishing his influence.

Goodyear’s predecessor, Alfred H. Barr Jr., expanded the collection and space drastically upon joining. One of his most memorable exhibitions was a Picasso retrospective which again played a big role in establishing an artist as one of the greats. Nelson Rockefeller took over the presidency in 1941, further cementing Rockefeller DNA in the history of the MoMA. He oversaw an exhibition on Indian Art in the US which fundamentally changed the perception of American Indian art.

The museum in its current form was designed in the modernist International Style, a style focusing on repetitive modular shapes and lightweight material. The term was defined by Philip Johnson, the curator of the architecture and design department at the MoMA.

The MoMA draws more than an astounding 2.8 million people through its doors every year.

Instagram Logo Facebook Logo