Museum of Modern Art

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Museum of Modern Art

(MoMA), New York City, established and incorporated in 1929. It is privately supported. Alfred H. BarrBarr, Alfred Hamilton, Jr.,
1902–81, American art historian, b. Detroit. Barr taught art history at several colleges and was the first director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
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, Jr., was its first director. Operating at first in rented galleries, the museum specialized in loan shows of contemporary European and American art. A start toward its permanent collection was made with the Lillie P. Bliss bequest, which included nine Cézannes and the Daumier Washerwoman. Its present collection, which includes more than 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, graphics, photographs, videos, architectural drawings and models, and design objects, represents one of the finest groups of modern and contemporary art in the world. MoMA's merger (2000) with P.S. 1, a contemporary art space in Long Island City, Queens, gave the museum a greater connection to avant-garde art. MoMA also has outstanding departments of photography and architecture, an extensive reference library and archives, and a large film library.

A permanent building, boxy and in the International StyleInternational style,
in architecture, the phase of the modern movement that emerged in Europe and the United States during the 1920s. The term was first used by Philip Johnson in connection with a 1932 architectural exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
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, designed by Philip L. Goodwin and Edward Durell StoneStone, Edward Durell,
1902–78, American architect, b. Fayetteville, Ark. Stone's first major work, designed in the starkly functional International style in collaboration with Philip L. Goodwin, was the Museum of Modern Art, New York City (1937–39).
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 was erected in midtown Manhattan in 1939. A new wing designed by Philip JohnsonJohnson, Philip Cortelyou,
1906–2005, American architect, museum curator, and historian, b. Cleveland, grad. Harvard Univ. (B.A., 1927). One of the first Americans to study modern European architecture, Johnson wrote (with H.-R.
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 was added in 1964, and the building was renovated and expanded again in 1984 by Cesar PelliPelli, César,
1926–, American architect, b. Tucumán, Argentina. Pelli graduated (1949) from the Univ. of Tucumán, immigrated (1952) to the United States, and subsequently attended (1952–54) the Univ. of Illinois.
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 and Associates, principally with the addition of a 52-story residential tower. MoMA Manhattan quarters were subsequently enlarged and redesigned (2002–4) by the Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi in a highly refined modernist style. Among the museum's new features are a central atrium, skylit and soaring to 110 ft (33.5 m), expanded galleries and office space, an enlarged sculpture garden, and an eight-story education and research building completed in 2006. In preparation for this work the collection was moved to Long Island City in 2002 and housed in a former factory building, dubbed MoMA QNS, that had been reconfigured by the architect Michael Maltzan. The Queens space is now used as a storage and study facility.


See catalog of paintings in the permanent collection by H. Frank (1973); R. Lynes, Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art (1973); S. Hunter, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1984, repr. 1997); G. D. Lowry, MOMA Highlights: 325 Works from The Museum of Modern Art (2002); J. Elderfield, ed., Modern Painting and Sculpture: 1880 to the Present from The Museum of Modern Art (2004).

Museum of Modern Art


in New York City, the largest American collection of art dating roughly from 1875 to the present. The Museum of Modern Art, which was founded in 1929, has extensive collections of painting, sculpture, graphic art, applied arts, design, architecture, photography, and films. In addition, there are changing exhibitions. As a result of its educational role, the museum has become a center for the popularization of the newest, chiefly modernistic, currents in European and American art. The museum houses P. Picasso’s Guernica and works by P. Cézanne, A. Maillol, H. Matisse, D. Siqueiros, D. Rivera, J. C. Orozco, E. Hopper, A. Wyeth, and many other artists.


Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art: A Catalogue. New York, 1958.
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