MoMA Mia!

The Museum of Modern Art Reopens to the Public.

MoMA is back! Bigger and better than ever after an extensive renovation and expansion that has increased its gallery space by 30 percent to a mind-boggling 165,000 square feet. That means more art can be displayed—and in interdisciplinary ways. Juxtapositions rule in the rehanging of the museum’s prized collection. Galleries are intimate and themed, a loop of interconnected narratives across all mediums. The concept is fluid, flexible, adaptable and astounding in its audacity. This is indeed a new way of looking at and appreciating modern and contemporary art. But for anyone apprehensive that old favorites, like van Gogh’s “The Starry Night’ and Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” will somehow get lost in the shuffle, be assured: The collection has never looked better than it does now. Check out some of our favorite views of the “new” Museum of Modern Art, and then see for yourself.

Throughout the museum, there are many new lounges and seating areas, where museumgoers can pause and reflect. Individual ticketing kiosks are designed to speed the entry process.

Improved vertical circulation of visitors is paramount in the museum’s expansion, as evidenced in the Blade Stair. As much an urban sculpture as it is a practical means of going from floor to floor, the staircase is monumental yet structurally light. A 6-inch thin vertical spine hanging from the roof frees the structure of lateral bracing. Glass balustrades on the 7-foot risers are cantilevered and held in place with pins. Ingenious.

Once again, Claude Monet’s glorious triptych, part of the museum’s collection from the 1880s to the 1940s, has a room of its own: Gallery 515 on the 5th floor.

Gallery 502 on the 5th floor is devoted to early photography and film, and is an example of how the museum now juxtaposes mediums. In the next-door gallery, Gallery 501, hangs Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” an oil on canvas from 1889.

The museum’s collection from the 1940s to the 1970s dominates the 4th floor. In Gallery 403 are works, from left to right in the image above, by Clyfford Still, Jackson Pollock, David Smith and Franz Kline.

New York’s art scene in the 1980s flourished below 14th Street. In Gallery 202 on the 2nd floor, works by Keith Haring, Jeff Koons and Jenny Holzer/Lady Pink (above) exemplify that era which elevated graffiti, pop culture and documentary photography to art.

Gallery 206 in the David Geffen Wing brings together artists from varying nations and generations to engage in a dialogue about the representation of the female form. A design feature in the Geffen Wing, as seen in the background of the above image, is the black steel portal that separates galleries.

The Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St., btw Fifth and Sixth aves., 212.708.9400, www.moma.org

Sa-Th 10 am-5:30 pm; $25 adults, $18 seniors, $14 students, free for children 16 and under

Francis Lewis
About the author

Francis serves as the New York executive editor for Where. G...