The Museum of Modern Art was founded in 1929.
Its founding Director, Alfred H. Barr, Jr., intended the Museum to be dedicated to helping people understand & enjoy the visual arts of our time, & that it might provide New York with "the greatest museum of modern art in the world."

Over the course of the next ten years, the Museum moved three times into progressively larger temporary quarters. In 1939 finally opened the doors of the building it still occupies in midtown Manhattan.

Mr. Barr submitted a plan for the conception & organization of the Museum that would result in the Museum's multi-departmental structure with departments devoted for the first time to Architecture, Design, Film, Video & Photography, in addition to Painting, Sculpture, Drawings, Prints & Illustrated Books. Subsequent expansions took place during the 1950s & 1960s planned by the architect Philip Johnson, who also designed The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden. In 1984, a major renovation designed by Cesar Pelli doubled the Museum's gallery space & enhanced visitor facilities.

The rich and varied collection of The Museum of Modern Art constitutes one of the most panoramic & comprehensive views into modern art. From an initial gift of eight prints & one drawing, The Museum of Modern Art's collection has grown to include over 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, design objects. MoMA owns approximately 22,000 films & 4 million film stills, & MoMA's Library & Archives, the premier research facilities of their kind in the world, hold over 300,000 books, artist books, periodicals, extensive individual files on more than 70,000 artists.

The Museum Archives contains primary source material related to the history of MoMA, modern & contemporary art. The Museum maintains an active schedule of exhibitions addressing a wide range of subject matter, mediums, time periods, highlighting significant recent developments in the visual arts, new interpretations of major artists, art historical movements. Works of art from its collection're displayed in rotating installations so that the public may regularly expect to find new works on display. Ongoing programs of classic, contemporary films range from retrospectives & historical surveys to introductions of the work of independent & experimental film- & videomakers. Visitors also enjoy access to a bookstore offering an assortment of publications and reproductions, and a design store offering objects related to modern & contemporary art and design.

The Museum's dedicated to its role as an educational institution, provides a complete program of activities intended to assist the general public, special segments of the community in approaching & understanding the world of modern art. In addition to gallery talks, lectures, symposia, the Museum of Modern Art offers special activities. The Museum's Library, Archives contain the leading concentration of research material on modern art in the world. Each of the curatorial departments maintains a study center available to students, scholars & researchers. The Museum has one of the most active publishing programs of any art museum & has published more than 1,200 editions appearing in twenty languages. In January 2000, the Museum & P.S.1 exercised a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing their affiliation.

The final arrangement results in an affiliation in which the Museum becomes the sole corporate member of P.S.1 & P.S.1 maintains its artistic & corporate independence. This innovative partnership expands outreach for both institutions, & offers a broad range of collaborative opportunities in collections, exhibitions, educational programs, and administration. MoMA has completed the largest & the most ambitious building project in its history. This project nearly doubled the space for MoMA's exhibitions & programs. Designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, the new MoMA features 630,000 square feet of new & redesigned space.

The Peggy & David Rockefeller Building on the western portion of the site houses the main exhibition galleries, The Lewis B., Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building—the Museum's first building devoted solely to these activities—on the eastern portion of the site provides over five times more space for classrooms, auditoriums, teacher training workshops, and the Museum's expanded Library & Archives. These two buildings frame the enlarged Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. The new Museum opened to the public on November 20, 2004. The Cullman Building opened in November 2006.

To make way for its renovation & rebuilding, MoMA closed on Fifty-third Street in Manhattan on May 21, 2002, & opened MoMA QNS in Long Island City, Queens, on June 29, 2002. MoMA QNS served as the base of the Museum's exhibition program & operations through September 27, 2004, when the facility was closed in preparation for The Museum of Modern Art's reopening in Manhattan. This building now provides state-of-the-art storage spaces for the Museum. Today, the Museum & P.S.1 welcome thousands of visitors every year. A still larger public's served by the Museum's national & international programs of circulating exhibitions, loan programs, circulating film, video library, publications, Library & Archives holdings, Web site, educational activities, special events, & retail sales.


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