A Begrudging Art Patron

As a disclaimer: These photos were taken during a visit in February/March 2016, so this post may not be representative of this site today.

Museum of Modern Art

Better known as the MoMA, the Museum of Modern art is one of the largest and most influential museums of its kind in the world. It was first ideated in 1929 by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (who was married to John D. Rockefeller, Jr.) with two others, Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan.


Drowning Girl by Roy Lichtenstein
Portrait of Joseph Roulin by Vincent Van Gogh
The Olive Trees by Vincent Van Gogh
Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

It officially opened on November 7th of 1929, just days after the Wall Street Crash. While at the time its collection was rather small (eight prints and one drawing), it quickly expanded under the guidance of Alfred H. Barr, Jr., its first director, and in its first month, the museum held an exhibition displaying works by Van Gogh, Cézanne, and Seurat.

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso
Still Life with Flowers by Juan Gris
Repose by Pablo Picasso
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt
Mme Kupka Among Verticals by František Kupka
Hope, II by Gustav Klimt

The museum was first housed on the twelfth floor of the Heckscher Building (today known as the Crown Building). Though Abby Rockefeller’s husband at first opposed the idea of creating a museum dedicated to modern art, he eventually donated the land upon which its present structure was built, and gradually became one of its greatest benefactors.

Dance (I) by Henri Matisse
Water Lilies by Claude Monet
The False Mirror by Magritte

Its permanent home, designed in the International Style by Philip L. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone, opened on May 10, 1939 (83 years ago today!). Its opening was attended to by 6,000 people, with a radio address by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Untitled by Lee Krasner
Glenn by Jean-Michel Basquiat
Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth
The Impossible, III by Maria Martins

Its collection contains works of modern and contemporary art, including architecture, drawing, design, painting, photography, prints, artists books, and more. Its library includes approximately 300,000 books, more than 1,000 periodical titles, and more than 40,000 of ephemera about artists and art groups.

Masks by Tomio Kinoshita
Inner Eye by Lynn Chadwick
The Turban Field by Shahzia Sikander
727 by Takashi Murakami

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