Museum of Modern Art

Museum in Midtown

Image by Athanasios Gioumpasis Getty Images

Superstar of the modern-art scene, MoMA's galleries scintillate with heavyweights: Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rothko, Pollock and Bourgeois. Since its founding in 1929, the museum has amassed almost 200,000 artworks, documenting the emerging creative ideas and movements of the late-19th century through to those that dominate today. For art buffs, it's Valhalla. For the uninitiated, it's a thrilling crash course in all that is beautiful and addictive about art.

MoMA's permanent collection spans four levels. Works are on rotation so it's hard to say exactly what you'll find on display, but Van Gogh's phenomenally popular The Starry Night is usually a sure bet. Other highlights of the collection include Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and Henri Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy, not to mention iconic American works like Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans and Gold Marilyn Monroe, Lichtenstein's equally poptastic Girl with Ball, and Hopper's haunting House by the Railroad. Audio guides are free, available on a device from the museum or via the app.

Another 50,000 sq ft of gallery space will be added in an expansion and redesign to be completed in 2019. At the same time, museum directors are snatching the opportunity to reorganise MoMA's works into chronological periods rather than by discipline, in an attempt to get more diversity into its artist line-up.

When gallery fatigue sets in, recharge in MoMA's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, dotted with works by dexterous greats like Matisse, Miró and Picasso. Or try to catch a film at one of the gallery's theaters; same-day tickets are free with admission (see moma.org/film).

Advertisement