top of page
  • Writer's pictureVan Weyenbergh Fine Art

MOMA NY reopens its doors after 4 months of remodeling.

After four months of work, the museum reopens its doors with enlarged spaces offering more visibility to non-Western scenes.

New York. The MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) reopened on October 21 after a massive $ 450-million expansion and redevelopment project, funded almost entirely by donations from New York philanthropists. Its director, Glenn Lowry, is enthusiastic: "There will be more works of art from more places, artists and disciplines than ever before. "

The change begins at the entrance. The box office, which took up a lot of space, was moved to facilitate traffic. By taking up several floors in the neighboring tower designed by architect Jean Nouvel, the museum has increased by one third the space dedicated to galleries, which allows him to show more works. Moreover, the content of one-third of the spaces will be renewed every six months to accelerate the rotation of the pieces of the collection. This dynamic change is part of the vision of Alfred Barr, the first director of MoMA in 1929, who wanted "exhibition galleries, works of art, lights and scores" to be always in motion. On the other hand, the queen works, such as Henri Matisse's La Danse or The Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso, to remain permanently visible.

The museum has reviewed the circulation of galleries. Accessible by several paths to smooth the passage, they are now organized in chronological order ("1970-present", "1940-1970", "1880-1940") and thematic ("Paris in the 1920s", "Innovators of 19th century "," Response to the war "," Architecture for modern art "," Henri Matisse "...). Another novelty: they present several forms of art (photography, film, drawing, sculpture, painting ...) to highlight the interactions between artists of the same period, sometimes from different continents. "The new museum makes art more interesting because it amplifies its meaning," says Glenn Lowry. When we look at the Paris of the 1920s, the key artists are Fernand Léger, Picasso, and Brancusi. But when we introduce in the discussion the Brazilian painter Tarsila do Amaral, who had a dialogue with Brancusi and Leger, it opens a forgotten Paris, much more interesting. Yesterday, we saw 5,000 works when we came to the museum, mostly from North American and European artists. Today, we will see 25,000 from Latin America, India, Africa, and the Middle East. "

Welcome 3 million visitors

This vast redevelopment will allow the MoMA to cope with increasing attendance. The old building, which had already doubled in size in 2004, was designed to accommodate two million visitors while some three million are now passing the door. It must also allow the Manhattan institution to broaden its programming and encourage public involvement. Among the new spaces, there is a multipurpose room with a capacity of 150 seats to accommodate performances and facilities, and a "laboratory" dedicated to artistic creation that will offer entertainment related to the exhibitions.

By welcoming a much larger number of visitors in better conditions, the MoMA returns to its original mission, insists Glenn Lowry:"We do not want to be an elitist place. We are created for the public. Alfred Barr insisted on the popular dimension of modern art. We were a popular institution from the beginning. "

Le journal des arts, Alexis Buisson

bottom of page