THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was the first institution anywhere in the United States to devote itself exclusively to modern art. In 1928, a group of wealthy philanthropists, educators and museum curators, including Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (wife of John D. Rockefeller), collaborated to realize their shared vision of bringing Europe’s finest modern art to American audiences.
To plan your visit, you can find hours and ticket prices here. While the cost of admission is quite steep at $25 for adults, children under 16 are admitted for free. Tickets for seniors (65+ with id) are $18 and for full-time students with current id is $14. Note: these prices are as of Summer 2015.
MoMA is located in midtown Manhattan, New York City, at 11 West Fifty-third Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues.
It is a few blocks from the B,D,E Trains at 7th Avenue, F train at 57 Street, and 5th Avenue stop on the E, M Trains.
Visit MoMA for FREE:
If the ticket cost is too steep for your budget, MoMA has free admission on Fridays from 4pm-8pm. You cannot get these tickets in advance and must wait online. Give yourself at least 30-45 minutes in peak tourist season to wait on the line.
The garden is open to the public for free from 9:30am to 10:15am except when weather conditions are bad. This does not get you museum.
If you like art, you should take our tour of the Met, a name your own price tour, plus donation to the Met.
Save $10 by purchasing a RockMoMA combination ticket for $45. It includes a visit to MoMA and the Top of the Rock Observation Deck to see 360-degree panoramic views 70 stories above Rockefeller Center.
Check Groupon who from time to time offer a great deal of 2-for-1 entry. So it’s only $25 for two people.
The Museum of Modern Art’s first exhibition was held in 1929 at the Heckscher building on the corner 5th Avenue and 57th Street. The exhibit took up a modest six rooms on the 12th floor. On display were paintings (on loan from other museums or private art collections) by the European Post-Impressionists Van Gogh, Seurat, Gauguin and Cézanne. Its second exhibit in 1930 showed off home-grown talent featuring modern works by 19 American artists. By 1939, MoMA was at rapidly acquiring new pieces of art and growing in popularity.
The museum made its permanent home at the current location on the north side of 53rd Street but as years passed, their collection grew and the museum was in desperate need of more space as well as a facelift. In 2002 the museum closed for 2 years to renovate and expand. The new space designed by celebrated Japanese architect, Yoshio Taniguchi, doubled the size of MoMA. Today MoMA’s current building is six floors, occupying almost a full city block — quite the difference from the six rooms used for their first exhibit in 1929!
Over the decades, MoMA has held hundreds of exhibitions while growing its permanent collection of art. From their first holdings in 1929 – a gift of eight prints and one drawing – MoMA now owns over 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects. MoMA also owns approximately 22,000 films and four million film stills.
Its permanent collection is widely considered the most impressive and diverse assortment of modern art in the world. Among the permanent collection highlights are Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, van Gogh’s Starry Night, Monet’s Water Lillies, Dali’s Persistence of Time, and Andy Warhol’s Gold Marilyn Monroe. They also have several special exhibitions going on at any one time which are always impeccably curated and often cutting edge.
The sculpture garden is more of an open-air courtyard rectangular in shape made of paved in long slabs of Vermont marble. Thoroughly sleek in style yet surprisingly intimate due to the trickling fountains, the18 foot wall with ivy vines and sprinkling of birch trees, MoMA’s garden is a must if you visit the museum..