Museum of Modern Art

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Museum of Modern Art, New York

The Museum of Modern Art ( MoMA ) houses one of the world's most important and influential collections of modern and contemporary art . The museum is located in the district of Midtown of the New York district of Manhattan at 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue . The collection includes works of architecture and design , drawings , paintings , sculptures , photographs , prints , illustrations , films and electronic media . The Museum of Modern Art also has a library of 300,000 volumes .

In 2016, the museum recorded 2,788,236 visitors, making it one of the most visited art museums in the world.

Museum of Modern Art, interior view


The founding of the Museum of Modern Art goes back to Lillie P. Bliss , Mary Quinn Sullivan and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller , who recognized in the late 1920s that the USA lacked an institution for modern and contemporary art alongside the art history- oriented museums. It was opened on November 7, 1929 under the direction of founding director Alfred Barr . The museum was well received by the public and changed buildings three times over the next ten years in order to have more exhibition space. In 1939 the Museum of Modern Art moved into the building in Midtown Manhattan that is still the location of the museum today. Architects were Edward Durell Stone and Philip Goodwin, who created the first modern museum building with the minimalist building.

Under the direction of Barr, he established a conception and organization of the museum, which provided for a division of the museum into different departments for the various genres of art . This division was retained and further strengthened during the further expansion of the collection. The number of works of art rose rapidly from eight prints and one drawing at the start of the museum to over 150,000. Films and a significant number of still images from films were also purchased. In the 1950s and 1960s, the building was expanded according to plans by the architect Philip Johnson . In 1984 the museum was renovated under the direction of César Pelli and the exhibition space was doubled. Between 2002 and 2004, the museum was rebuilt and expanded for $ 860 million under the direction of Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi . On November 20, 2004, the Museum of Modern Art reopened. The current director is Glenn D. Lowry.


The Museum of Modern Art's collection includes over 150,000 works of architecture and design , drawings , paintings , and sculptures by , among others, Alice Aycock , Louise Bourgeois , Alexander Calder , Henry Moore , Claes Oldenburg , Eduardo Paolozzi , photographs , prints and illustrations . There are also around 22,000 films , four million still images from films, as well as video art such as by Valie Export , Lutz Mommartz , Pipilotti Rist and Julian Rosefeldt and other electronic media .

The Museum of Modern Art exhibits, among other things, design objects for everyday use such as chairs (e.g. Rietveld's zigzag chair ) or the one that Ferdinand Porsche falsely identified as his own development, but actually designed by Béla Barényi in every detail VW Beetle . There are also drawings by artists such as Paul Cézanne , Edgar Degas , Natalija Gontscharowa , Wassily Kandinsky and Egon Schiele . These include works by Pablo Picasso , Piet Mondrian , Jean Arp and Andy Warhol .

The painting collection includes works from Impressionism and Late Impressionism by Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin . With Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Oskar Kokoschka , works of German and Austrian Expressionism are also represented. The collection also includes paintings by Gustav Klimt , Henri Matisses , Marc Chagall , Salvador Dalís , René Magrittes and Pablo Picasso . With Jackson Pollock's works are works of Action Painting and Abstract Expressionism to the collection. With Roy Lichtenstein Girl with Ball are Pop Art -Werke represented. Another painting on display is Gold Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol .

Since 2012, MoMA has also been collecting computer games as part of the design department. The first 14 games were: Pac-Man (1980), Tetris (1984), Another World (1991), Myst (1993), SimCity 2000 (1994), Vib-Ribbon (1999), The Sims (2000), Katamari Damacy (2004), EVE Online (2003), Slaves to Armok II: Dwarf Fortress (2006), Portal (2007), flOw (2006), Passage (2008) and Canabalt (2009). Pong (1972), Space Invaders (1978), Asteroids (1979), Tempest (1980), Yars' Revenge (1981) and Minecraft (2011), as well as the game console Magnavox Odyssey , followed in June 2013 . Planned additions for the following years include: MULE and Super Mario Bros.

Special exhibitions

One of the most famous photos from the exhibition The Family of Man : Migrant Mother (1936) by Dorothea Lange

From the beginning, special exhibitions on certain art styles, genres and the work of individual artists have been a focus of the museum's work. Many of these exhibitions have written art history - in a double sense of the word - by discovering art movements in museums and creating new terms. The most important of these exhibitions are: Machine Art (1934), Cubism and Abstract Art (1936; with Alfred Barr's famous development scheme on the cover), Fantastic Art, Dada Surrealism (1936), Sixteen Americans (1959), The Art of Assemblage (1961; which introduced the concept of assemblage to art literature) and The Responsive Eye (1965; considered the founding exhibition of Op Art in a museum ). Another famous and very popular exhibition was The Family of Man from 1955, in which photographs were shown, which should, in their entirety, comprehensively depict humanity. This show then went on a world tour.

Other exhibitions were Four German Printmakers: Max Klinger, Lovis Corinth, Christian Rohlfs, and Otto Dix from 1991, Frank Lloyd Wright: Architect and Three Masters of the Bauhaus: Lyonel Feininger, Vasily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee from 1994. In 1999 the exhibitions Alfred Hitchcock: Behind the Silhouette , Different Roads: Automobiles for the Next Century and Fame After Photography took place.

The museum itself is also the subject of exhibitions. During the museum renovation from 2002 to 2004, 212 outstanding masterpieces were exhibited first in Houston and then from February 20 to September 19, 2004 in the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin under the title “ The MoMA in Berlin ”. Some exhibits were also temporarily located in a branch of MoMA, the affiliated PS1 in the New York borough of Queens . The Museum of Modern Art also lends pictures for other exhibitions.

Film art from 1935

Haidee Wasson devotes her dissertation (Communication Studies) "Modern Ideas About Old film: The Museum of Modern Art's Film Library and Film Culture, 1935-39" the founding years of the first North American Film Archives , the Film Library (dt .: film library ) from 1935 .

The British Iris Barry , film critic and co-founder of the London Film Society , founded in 1925, was appointed the first female curator with her husband John Abbott as director, and in 1947 she became director herself. As Wasson describes, the idea of ​​film and Hollywood - film as an art form and the preservation or exhibition of films may not seem revolutionary, but "strange" and became the subject of public debate. Even in the 30s, the new muse film had its proponents, which was accompanied by utopian ideas and enlightenment hopes, and one found oneself between aspiration and entertainment and the continents. With the end of silent films and Hollywood in its commercial heyday, this technical mass medium was about to be subjected to a re-evaluation emanating from Europe (not excluding propaganda purposes), although the institution found a kind of (highly) cultural boom, on the other hand it was Not always made easy for the Film Library internally.

“People who know what to do with modern painting, literature or theater are surprisingly ignorant of modern film. [...] It can be said without exaggeration that the only great art form peculiar to the twentieth century is practically unknown to the American public who could best appreciate it. "

- Alfred Barr , 1932

Sometimes the directors did not even own the rights to their films, nor were they always interested in them. For reasons of space, the film material was recycled in previous years , the film rolls thrown into the ocean or given away. Remarkably, pieces from the earliest silent film era have survived, which were often sold. Also in those days 16 mm prevailed, on the one hand amateur format, but on the other hand also as a security film . The idea of preserving the film material only came up later.

It was only through the funding of the Rockefeller Foundation that the Film Library was financially sound. According to Buxton, those responsible at Rockefeller were guided by considerations such as: "How can you help the audience [...] to an understanding that enables them to distinguish between good and bad [...] in film?" Rockefeller paid from 1935 onwards MoMA, precisely because the film industry was inaccessible to appreciation (today one would speak of fandom ) and to science. The big studios also took part with some persuasion. In 1936 Barry negotiated an agreement with Paramount , MGM, and others to make copies of negatives for educational purposes at their own expense.

At MoMA and (a few) comparable European institutions, the realistic function of film as a document of contemporary history was also considered. Above all, the exhibits there embodied the focus of systematic intellectual debate and Barry strove to put them in the right context. Initially, her collection positioned itself among new releases and recognized filmmakers: Méliés , Porter and David Wark Griffith . With the selection and compilation of the not necessarily “best” products of the latest art form, the Film Library offered a review of lost forty years, a sometimes popular, sometimes marginal outlook and a forecast of the accelerated, modern world and the diverse USA in particular. to assume an identity yourself. The destination of the trip was by no means clear. Barry raised academic operations to a new level with the loan deal and the establishment of the long-needed canon .

At the 10th Academy Awards in 1937 , the Film Library received a Special Award in recognition of “ […] its significant work in collecting films dating from 1895 to the present and for the first time making available to the public the means of studying the historical and aesthetic development of the motion picture as one of the major arts. "(German:" [...] for offering the public for the first time ways of researching the historical and aesthetic development of the feature film as one of the art forms. ")

From 1941 to 1943 Siegfried Kracauer worked as a special research assistant at the Film Library . The director Luis Buñuel was also there from 1941 to 1943. Much later, especially in the 80s, the collection grew: among others, Turner Entertainment Company and RKO handed over larger posts, Albert Broccoli donated the famous Bond films, and Clint Eastwood , Martin Scorsese , Francis Ford Coppola and Oliver Stone left their works.

The Department of Film and Video now stocks more than 22,000 films from around the world and four million stills, making it the largest international collection in the United States, with works from all decades and genres. The collections are held at the Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center , which opened in Hamlin, Pennsylvania in 1996.

On May 3, 2007, Rajendra Roy was named Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film .

Today , the Online Collection presents works on the World Wide Web .


sorted alphabetically by author

  • John Elderfield: The MoMA in Berlin . Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-7757-1389-1
  • Stephan Geiger : The Art of Assemblage. The Museum of Modern Art, 1961. The new reality of art in the early sixties . Dissertation University of Bonn 2005. Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-88960-098-1 .
  • Steven Higgins: Still moving: the film and media collections of the Museum of Modern Art . Ed .: Museum of Modern Art. New York 2006, ISBN 978-0-87070-326-3 (English).
  • Joachim G. Jacobs: MoMa New York. Philip Johnson's sculpture garden. A key work of the "International Style" . In: Die Gartenkunst  17 (1/2005), pp. 1–21.
  • Glenn D. Lowry: Masterworks of Modern Art: From the Museum of Modern Art, New York . Scala Vision, New York City 2005, ISBN 88-8117-298-4
  • Morris Louis: The Museum of Modern Art, New York . Museum of Modern Art, New York City 1986, ISBN 0-87070-418-4
  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York (Ed.): The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The History and the Collection . Könemann, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-89508-699-1
  • Mary Anne Staniszewski: The Power of Display. A History of Exhibition Installations at the Museum of Modern Art . MIT Pr, and Michelle Elligott: Art in Our Time. A Chronicle of the Museum of Modern Art , New York 2004, ISBN 0-87070-001-4 .
  • Haidee Wasson: Modern Ideas About Old Films: The Museum of Modern Art's Film Library and Film Culture, 1935-39 . McGill University, Montréal 1998, ISBN 0-612-50280-5 (English, (PDF; 18.1 MB) - dissertation).
  • Haidee Wasson: Museum Movies: The Museum of Modern Art and the Birth of Art Cinema . University of California Press, Berkeley 2005, ISBN 0-520-22777-8 (English).
  • Philip Yenawine: Images and Shapes. The Museum of Modern Art, New York . Carlsen, 1998, ISBN 3-551-20463-2

Web links

Commons : Museum of Modern Art (New York City)  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Fred S. Kleiner, Christin J. Mamiya: Gardner's Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective . 12th edition. Thomson Wadsworth, Belmont CA 2006, ISBN 0-495-00478-2 , pp. 796 (Quote: "The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is consistently identified as the institution most responsible for developing modernist art ... the most influential museum of modern art in the world".).
  2. Visitor Figures 2016. Art Newspaper, accessed June 11, 2018 .
  3. Article on the history, accessed on 15 July 2008
  4. Selection of highlights from the architecture and design area of ​​the Museum of Modern Art. Accessed June 15, 2008
  5. Image: Girl with Ball by Roy Lichtenstein
  6. ^ Picture: Gold Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol
  7. MoMA: Video Games: 14 in the Collection, for Starters , November 29, 2012
  8. ^ Paul Galloway: Video Games: Seven More Building Blocks in MoMA's Collection. In: Inside / Out. A MoMA / MoMA PS1 Blog. Museum of Modern Art, June 28, 2013, accessed June 29, 2013 .

Film art section from 1935

  1. see Iris Barry in the English language Wikipedia. Please refer to Iris Barry: Let's Go to the Movies . Payson & Clarke Ltd., 1926, ISBN 0-405-03911-5 (English, Internet Archive - Ayer Co Pub, June 1972).
  2. ^ David Bordwell : On the History of Film Style . Harvard University Press, Cambridge 1997, ISBN 0-674-63429-2 (English, ). P. 25.
  3. Richard Armstrong: Haidee Wasson, Museum movies: The Museum of Modern Art and the birth of art cinema. (No longer available online.) In: Screening the Past # 19. March 27, 2006, archived from the original on November 23, 2008 ; Retrieved June 18, 2008 (English).
  4. ^ Vachel Lindsay : The Art Of The Moving Picture . 1915 ( - Project Gutenberg ). Also to be mentioned is Terry Ramsaye.
  5. cf. Wasson, p. 113: "the high / low cultural distinctions that characterize the period". Wasson, p. 6: “Populists scowled at the highbrow inflections of a 'film museum'. Museum trustees expressed open distaste for film's commercial taint. "
  6. cf. Armstrong: "[...] torn between competing American attitudes towards what the cinema could be."
  7. Frick (see web links), p. 58. It also goes back to the establishment of the British Imperial War Museum from 1917, p. 49.
  8. ^ Bordwell, p. 23 f.
  9. ^ A b Mary Lea Bandy: The movies at MoMA: the first cinema museum in the United States. (PDF; 7.3 MB) In: Museum International No. 184 - Cinema museums. UNESCO , 1994, p. 27 , accessed June 18, 2008 (English, former director of the Department of Film and former senior curator of the Department of Film and Video . ISSN  1350-0775 ).
  10. ^ Paul S. Moore: Museum Movies: The Museum of Modern Art and the Birth of Art Cinema. In: Canadian Journal of Film Studies. 2006, accessed on June 18, 2008 (English, FindArticles).
  11. ^ William J. Buxton: Rockefeller Support for Projects on the Use of Motion Pictures for Educational and Public Purposes, 1935-1954. (PDF; 38 kB) In: Rockefeller Archive Center Research Reports Online. 2001, accessed June 18, 2008 . P. 2.
  12. ^ Dana Polan: Scenes of Instruction: The Beginnings of the US Study of Film . University of California Press, Berkeley 2007, ISBN 0-520-24962-3 (English, ).
  13. ^ Lord Bernstein: The fans who made film history . In: The Times , October 23, 1975, p. 11, on his Film Society (1925).
  14. Baxton, p. 4, cf. P. 5.
  15. Bandy, p. 27 f.
  16. ↑ in particular: Reichsfilmarchiv , National Film Library of the British Film Institute and the Cinémathèque française , Wasson, p. 27 f.
  17. ^ Bordwell, p. 25.
  18. : Treasures from New York . In: Berliner Zeitung , May 6, 2004. Quotation: "[...] by the way, just in time to be able to persuade the not quite young pioneers of cinema to give their negatives and copies to the museum".
  19. to mention in particular: The work of art in the age of its technical reproducibility (Benjamin 1935/36) and the dialectic of the Enlightenment (Horkheimer / Adorno 1944), cf. Wasson p. 115 ff., Erwin Panofsky and Siegfried Kracauer .
  20. ^ Bordwell, p. 26.
  21. Polan, p. 15 ff.
  22. ^ Sabine Biebl: Kracauer, Siegfried. In: Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, 2004, accessed on June 19, 2008 .
  23. ^ Major Retrospective on the Filmmaker Luis Bunuel Presented by the Museum of Modern Art on the Occasion of His Centenary. In: Press Releases. The Museum of Modern Art, November 2000, accessed August 23, 2008 .
  24. cf. Bunuel, Luis . Britannica 2002 Expanded Edition. Copyright й 1994-2002 Inc. June 21, 2008.
  25. ^ A b William Grimes: A Cool Oasis for Frazzled Films. In: The New York Times . January 22, 1996, accessed June 18, 2008 .
  26. Bandy, p. 29.
  27. ^ The Library of Congress holds 80,000 titles (for copyright registration purposes ). Leslie Bennetts: 50 Years for MoM's Film Department. In: The New York Times . June 23, 1985, accessed June 19, 2008 .
  28. ^ The Collection. (No longer available online.) The Museum of Modern Art, formerly the original ; Retrieved June 18, 2008 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  29. ^ The Museum of Modern Art announces the grand opening of the Celeste Bartos Film Center. In: Press Releases. The Museum of Modern Art, June 15, 1996, accessed June 18, 2008 .
  30. Rajendra Roy. The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film. In: The Museum of Modern Art, accessed October 19, 2019 .
  31. "Online Collection". MoMA website. Retrieved April 18, 2007.

Coordinates: 40 ° 45 ′ 40 "  N , 73 ° 58 ′ 38"  W.