Lonely Planet Writer

Why you won’t be able to visit MoMA in New York this summer

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is one of New York’s top attractions – but the famous museum will be shutting its doors for four months in 2019.

Exterior view of The Museum of Modern Art on 53rd Street © 2017 Diller Scofidio + Renfro

MoMA has announced that its final day of general admission will be on 15 June, when it will close to the public until 21 October while the museum undergoes an expansion.

The entrance to the Museum of Modern Art. Image by ©spatuletail/Shutterstock

The new project will add more than 40,000-square-feet of gallery space and is designed to allow the museum to show off significantly more art in new ways.

View of the second floor looking east with new Museum Store, espresso bar and The Daniel and Jane Och Lounge. Photo by Iwan Baan

The expanded centre will include The Studio, which will host live programming and performances that will “react to, question, and challenge histories of modern art and the current cultural moment”. Inside there will be a number of different floors, including street-level galleries that will be free and open to the public in an effort to bring art to the people on the streets at the museum’s midtown Manhattan location.

Elevation of The Museum of Modern Art on Fifty-third Street with cutaway view below street level. © 2017 Diller Scofidio + Renfro

When the museum reopens, it will be showing art of different disciplines alongside one another, like paintings, sculptures, architecture, design, film and more. There will also be galleries that provide works from artists from more diverse backgrounds than previously represented at MoMA. A selection of the art will also be rotated in the gallery every six to nine months, to recognize “that there is no single or complete history of modern and contemporary art”. MoMA has already announced some of the exhibitions that will be held when the museum is back, including ones focusing on Latin American art, the multidisciplinary artist Pope.L, artist Betye Saar, and more.

View of the restored Bauhaus staircase, with Oskar Schlemmer’s Bauhaus Staircase (1932). Photo by Iwan Baan

The new MoMA will also open earlier – at 10am – and stay open until 9pm on the first Thursday of every month. Travellers heading to New York this summer who still want a MoMA experience can head to MoMA PS1, an affiliated museum in Queens, which will remain open Thursday to Monday from 12 to 6pm.