The Museum of Modern Art is one of the world's most renowned art museums and one of New York's greatest tourist attractions. Due to constant overcrowding, the situation had to be close to four months. Now the MoMA is back – and has completely retreaded.
New York – From 53rd Street, you can see through the glass the big black lettering on the interior wall of the building: "Hello, Once again." The Museum of Modern Art salutes this work by the American artist Haim Steinbach – and responds The MoMA has been closed for about four months, has been cultivated, developed and rebuilt and will be open again to visitors from Monday 21 October.
The famous museum in downtown Manhattan was to be expanded. Each year, about three million visitors from more than 50 countries made their way through the exhibition halls. The queues at the chests often dragged in the street, but in front of the crowd, the works were often difficult to spot. Also due to fierce competition in New York, where potential visitors can quickly switch to other prestigious museums such as the Guggenheim or the Metropolitan, the MoMA had to do something to assert itself.
Only 15 years ago, Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi had enlarged the museum building up to about twice his previous space, but the MoMA was quickly developed. Now, architects Ricardo Scofidio and Liz Diller have replenished more than 400 million dollars, added an addiction and expanded the museum again by more than 3,700 square meters.
The art in the museum is now completely mixed, and there is more than just the art of old white men
But it was not just about more space, but also about content. The museum took the opportunity to renew itself completely. Until now, the MoMA has mainly shown modern Western works from the late 19th and the 20th century and was considered in this area as one of the most outstanding museums in the world. The works were shown chronologically and linearly, as a succession of artistic styles. To a large extent, the artists presented came from Europe, white and male – and this is the subject of criticism. The museum, which turns 90 in November, has become "a monument to an outdated history," writes the New York Times.
It's different now. In the new MoMA, the chronological context is still unclear, but the art is completely mixed – as if the curators had already shaken the building properly. The new architecture gives the impression that everything is more open and invites more to the walk and the spontaneous turn. In addition to paintings and design, you can see many more sculptures, photographs, films and performances – and especially many more works by women, Latinos, Asians and African Americans, among others .
In architecture, critics are divided
This leads to exciting discoveries and combinations. "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" by Pablo Picasso, one of the museum's paintings, is now on display next to a work by African-American artist Faith Ringgold. And every six months, MoMA wants to move the permanent collection from now on. All this corresponds to the zeitgeist and also targets the younger visitor groups.
The museum is proving to be a "living and living institution of the 21st century", rejoices the "New York Times". "A group of very smart conservatives are putting their heads together and working from the inside to steer the big white ship in a different direction." In architecture, however, critics are divided. While "New York Magazine" marvels at a "confident and modest work of elegance", the New York Times compares the new version to an Apple computer company: "Intelligent, outrageous and a little soulless" . In addition, the new, more open museum configuration will require many explanations. "We'll see if visitors find it liberating or confusing." But the final word has not been delivered, said MoMA director Glenn Lowry. "The museum will always be developing."