The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is the worlds leading modern art. Its exhibits have been a major influence in creating and stimulating popular awareness of modern art and its accompanying diversity of its styles and movements. The museums outstanding collections of modern painting, sculpture, drawings, and prints range from Impressionisms to current movements. Moreover, there are exhibits of modern architecture, industrial design, sculpture, photography, prints and electronic media. The museum presently has a modern art library of 300,000 books and impressive collections of films that are shown regularly.
The Museum is said to be the complementary of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which houses a more generalized art. The museum is also one of the most visited in the city, with 2. 1-2. 5 million patrons each year. The museum was the idea of John D. Rockefeller Jr. s wife, Abby Aldrich, and two of her friends, who also happen to be progressive patrons of the art, Mrs. Cornelius Sullivan and Lillie P. Bliss. The three became to be known as the daring ladies. To begin their vision, they rented a small quarter for their new museum in November 9, 1929, nine days after the Wall Street Crash.Order now
Mr. A. Conger Goodyear was invited by Abby Aldrich, to become the president of the new museum, while Abby became its treasurer. It opened as the first American museum to be exclusively devoted to modern art and the first in Manhattan to feature European modernism. With Goodyear at the helm, Paul J. Sachs and Frank Crowninshield were enlisted to become founding trustees. Sachs, at that time, was associate director and curator of prints in Harvard Universitys Fogg Art Museum.
It was Sachs who suggested Alfred H. Barr Jr. o become the Museum of Modern Arts first curator. Barr enabled the museum rise to prominence and indeed on November of 1929, the museum housed works by Seurat, Cezanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh. The museum occupied a space of six rooms for galleries to a permanent building in 1939. John D. Rockefeller Jr. opposed the creation of museum as he was not too supportive of modernists arts. In fact, he did not release the funds needed for the museum and Abby had to obtain other resources, which resulted the exhibits to be frequently relocated.
When John D. Rockefeller Jr. realized how convicted his wife was for the venture, he finally gave in and donated a site to become the permanent site of the museum. Before acquiring a permanent location at 11 West 53rd Street in Manhattan, the exhibits of the museum of modern arts have already conjuring enormous successes. For instance, the museum featured Vincent van Gogh exhibition on the 4th of November in 1935 that contained sixty-six oil paintings and fifty drawings from Netherlands. It also featured excerpts of the artists letters.
The success marked the exhibit to become the precursor to hold Van Gogh paintings even to this day of contemporary imagination. A museum of modern art would not be as they say they are if they didnt feature Picasso on their galleries. Between 1939 and 1940, they did just that. They exhibited a Picasso retrospective in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago. This was a huge success and perhaps it was the event that put the museum on the map. Included in its works was a reinterpretation of Picasso for new scholars and historians.
The exhibit was the brainchild of Barr, who was a Picasso enthusiast. By doing so, the curator set a new standard for all museums retrospective exhibits. Abby Aldrich Rockefellers sons eventually became the board of trustees: Nelson in 1939, who was the primary instigator of the museum being transferred to 53rd Street; and David, in 1948, who soon took up the museums presidency when Nelson became Governor of New York in 1958. Under David Rockefeller, he employed the celebrated modernist architect Philip Johnson, who was known for his Glass House designs.
Johnson redesigned the museums garden and after its completion, David named it for his mother, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. Barr submitted the concept of what was to become of the museum. It had to be organized as a multi-departmental structure each devoted for Architecture and Design, Photography, Film and Video, and they should stand side by side with traditional arts such as Painting and Sculpture. Architect Philip Johnson built on this idea. The multi-departmental structure seemed to best fit with the burgeoning International Style, a modernist architectural movement from which Philip Johnson belonged.
In this architecture, buildings are designed with simple geometric lines and clean, precise surfaces and with minimum decoration. Walls are made almost entirely of glass, known as curtain wallsa signature Johnson was known for that are used to give the building a light and airy appearance. The Museum of Modern of Art was the first to use the words International Style, which was a fitting term to introduce modernist arts to the world. Johnson and another renowned architect Henry-Russell Hitchcock organized a major show under the title Modern Architecture: International Exhibition.
There they described the International Style that expresses several design principles, that concerns with volume rather than mass and solidity, regularity instead of axial symmetry, and the proscription of arbitrary applied decoration. Exhibits featured leading European and American architects, especially the likes of Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The unveiling of the museum exemplified all these characteristics, and the succeeding modernists buildings such as the Lever House, the Seagram and the United Nations buildings would follow its footsteps.
Further expansions were added in the 1950s and the 1960s by Philip Johnson. And in 1984, Cesar Pelli renovated the museums gallery space to enhance the visitors facilities and doubled the area. Plus, he created a 53-story residential tower on top of the museum to raise money to support the museums growth. But it was in May 2002 that a major renovation took place headed by Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi. The renovation closed the museum for more than two years that some of the collection had to be relocated in Long Island City.
With this renovation, the museums entire space nearly doubled. The Peggy and David Rockefeller Building on the western section of the site features the main exhibition galleries, while the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building on the eastern section houses an expanded space for auditoriums, classrooms, teacher training workshops and the museums archives and library. Also, these two sections enlarge the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. In November 2006, the museum unveiled the Cullman Building.
The controversy of the renovation concerned about its increased admission price from $12 to $20, making it one of the most expensive museums in the city. Target stores, however, sponsored the after 4pm Friday exhibits. Moreover, the architecture of the building was controversial, with critics saying that Taniguchis design was of contemporary architecture and not modernists; other criticized the new designs flow. Why the museum is significant today as it was then lies in the goals forwarded by its trustees: the encouragement of an ever deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by diverse audiences it serves.
From this mission statement, the museum continually explores the ideals of new artist, to transcend modern and contemporary art worldwide in all forms of visual expression and new forms of media, to translate an open-ended series of arguments and counter arguments explored through the museums exhibits and varied collections, to affirm and engage the importance of contemporary art to the present and to honor the ideals from which it was founded, and to always remain at the forefront of the field of modern art through a periodic reevaluation and openness to new initiatives and ideas.
The Museum of Modern Art shows a culture born on the 20th century and continued today that creates a dialogue between the established and the experimental, the past and the present, and an environment open to new issues and controversies. This is what its audiences expect of it. They want to be shocked in it. The whole thing started when the Abby Aldrich want to exhibit the best modern works of art, but her tradition continued to open to new heights and new insights to unfold.
And this includes the pursuit of educational purposes that teaches a record how man and his civilization have evolved the best way he can, through an assemblage of his masterworks, given the circumstances hes in. In all, it is largely civilizations movement in visual media. Its best contribution to art these days is its functionality as an educational institution intended to assist the general public and the special segments of the community in grasping the ideals of modern art.
It stands out because of its extensive gallery talks, lectures and symposia for parents, teachers, families, students, bilingual visitors and even people with special needs. The lecturers are the best in the world, having accesses the leading research materials on modern art in all four corners of the globe. Each of the curatorial departments also maintains a study center for students, researchers and scholars.
If thats not enough, the museum also runs the most active publishing literature of any art museum, with 1,200 editions appearing in 20 languages. There is no slowing down the continued success of the museum. It is expected that visitors would increase annually as a still larger public is served by the museums national and international programs of circulating exhibits, video libraries and other special events.