For fans of art and film, there's no better place in the city (and some might argue the United States) than the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) to see what's happening in the modern creative scene today.
Founded in 1929, MoMA's collection includes examples of modern art from the late nineteenth century until today. Their collection represents the diverse forms of visual expression that encompass modern art, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, films, drawings, illustrations, architecture, and design.
Located at 11 West 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in Manhattan, the Museum offers free admission on Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m. and is open daily from 10:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m. except on Thanksgiving and Christmas days. You can access MoMA from anywhere in New York City by taking the E or M subways to Fifth Avenue/53 Street or the B, D, F, or M to 47-50 Streets/Rockefeller Center and walking a short distance to the cross streets.
A Brief History of the Museum
First opened in 1929, MoMA was the first museum in the world to focus on modern art, and their permanent collection features over 135,000 pieces from every art medium known to man. Additionally, the MoMA hosts an ever-changing series of temporary exhibitions.
The Museum's collection can be broken down into six categories: Architecture and Design, Drawings, Film and Media, Painting and Sculpture, Photography, and Prints and Illustrated Books. It would be virtually impossible to see the Museum's entire collection in a single visit, but daily Gallery Talks and the self-guided audio tours can greatly enhance your visit. Spending some time on the MoMA website can also help you prepare for your visit and identify particular pieces you'd like to see.
An extensive redesign and expansion project started in 2017 and is expected to finish construction in 2019. The finished project is expected to increase its exhibition space by 150 percent in its Manhattan location's six floors.
Family Friendly Activities and Special Events
The Museum of Modern Art also offers an array of programs oriented toward children and families. You can also pick up the Family Guide at any information booth and the audio tour features a specific program geared toward engaging children with the art through interactive dialog and music.
MoMA is a museum that is surprisingly wonderful to visit with kids. The audio tour is amazing and turns a visit to the museum into a treasure hunt where the children seek out the pieces of art that have audio tour components. The museum's app also makes it easy to find art that might be familiar to your child or might be of particular interest or appeal to them.
Additionally, MoMA hosts a series of family and adult-only special events throughout the year like the popular "Tours for Fours: Art in Motion, Motion in Art" tour or the Family Art Workshops hosted each month. You can also expect to find seasonal celebrations like the Spring Open House and the annual "Warm Up (Year)" events.