A New and Improved MoMA Is Set to Open This October

2017 Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), one of New York City’s most treasured museums, announced that it will open its expanded campus on October 21, 2019 with a reimagined presentation of modern and contemporary art.

The expansion, developed by MoMA with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Gensler, adds more than 40,000 square feet of gallery spaces and enables the museum to exhibit more art in new and interdisciplinary ways. The studio in the heart of the museum will have live programming and performances that react to, question and challenge histories of modern art and the current cultural moment. A second-floor platform for education will invite visitors to connect with art that explores new ideas about the present, past and future. Street-level galleries, free and open to all on the expanded ground floor, will better connect the museum to New York City and bring art closer to people on the streets of Midtown Manhattan.

Reinstallation of the Collection

In October 2019, MoMA will reveal a presentation that highlights the creative affinities and frictions produced by displaying painting, sculpture, architecture, design, photography, media, performance, film and works on paper together. A new curatorial generation will continually renew the experience of the museum through installations and exhibitions, artist commissions and programs that encourage debate and discovery.

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The second-, fourth- and fifth-floor galleries will offer a deeper experience of art through all mediums and by artists from more diverse geographies and backgrounds. A general chronological spine will unite the three floors and serve as a touchstone of continuity for visitors. Individual galleries, some of which will be medium-specific, will delve into presentations of art and ideas. This curatorial vision foregrounds the complex relationships among works of art and leverages the new architecture to encourage a multitude of possible routes through the museum.

The museum will rotate a selection of art in these collection galleries every six to nine months. By 2022, MoMA will have re-choreographed each of its galleries across the three floors—and will constantly renew the presentation. 

Construction progress in new gallery spaces at The Museum of Modern Art.
MoMA Construction //  Photo by Max Touhey

Inaugural Exhibitions

All of the opening exhibitions in October 2019 will be drawn from the museum’s collection. MoMA announced four of those exhibitions today and plans to announce more later this year.

Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction―The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift will provide a deeper look into the Museum’s holdings of modern Latin American art, primarily through paintings, sculptures and works on paper donated by the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros between 1997 and 2016. On view through March 2020, the exhibition celebrates abstract, concrete and geometric art by artists from Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Uruguay.

member: Pope.L, 1978–2001 will explore landmark performances and related videos, objects and installations by the multidisciplinary artist Pope.L, on view through January 2020. This exhibition is part of Pope.L: Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration, a trio of presentations organized by MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Public Art Fund.

Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girls Window, drawn almost entirely from the Museum’s collection, explores the deep ties between Saar’s autobiographical sculpture Black Girl’s Window (1969) and the artist’s rare, early prints, made during the 1960s. On view through January 2020, a group of newly acquired works on paper will reveal the themes of family, history, mysticism and life cycles at the heart of Saar’s practice.

Studio Museum at MoMA, The Elaine Dannheisser Project Series, will be curated by Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, as part of a multi-year partnership between The Studio Museum, The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1. The series’ first installation, featuring artist Michael Armitage, will open in the new Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Projects Gallery on the museum's expanded ground floor with free access to all. The partnership will also include exhibitions by The Studio Museum’s artists-in-residence at MoMA PS1, extend the MoMA/Studio Museum Fellowship program, and offer audiences opportunities through membership, education and public programs. 

View of The Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin Lounge // Photo by Iwan Baan

New Spaces for New Connections

The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio will create a double-height space for live and experimental programming in the heart of the Museum’s collection galleries. Performance, dance, music, moving image, sound works and other art forms will now connect to galleries of modern and contemporary art. The studio will be a space for collection-responsive programming, including David Tudor and Composers Inside Electronics, and for residencies and commissions by established and emerging artists, such as Okwui Okpokwasili, Adam Linder and Shahryar Nashat.

The Paula and James Crown Platform on the second floor will be an experimental, creative space to explore ideas, questions, and art processes that arise from MoMA’s collection. Visitors can drop in to make art, join facilitated conversations and participate in programs designed to connect people more deeply with art and each other. This welcoming space will offer accessible educational experiences daily in the museum’s galleries and classrooms, with partner organizations and online at moma.org.

The new MoMA will open earlier to the public, at 10 a.m.; extend its hours until 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month; continue to offer dining options; and launch a new Museum Store, featuring an assortment of collection-related and curator-reviewed books and products.

MoMA’s members will experience this transformation first, with opening events and early access. Member benefits also will include a new dedicated entrance and coat check, 9:30 a.m. entry 363 days a year, exhibition previews and premium programming. 

Last Look

To prepare for the opening of the new MoMA, the Museum’s final day of general admission will be June 15, 2019. The Museum’s spring exhibitions will now close on that date, including Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern, Joan Miró: Birth of the World, New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century and The Value of Good Design.

The Museum will host a members-only day on June 16, 2019, to celebrate this moment. 

MoMA PS1

Throughout 2019, MoMA PS1 will remain open and on its regular schedule, Thursday to Monday, noon to 6 p.m. Visitors can experience a major presentation of works by feminist artist and activist Nancy Spero, a retrospective of Lebanese-American artist Simone Fattal, solo exhibitions of New York–based artist Gina Beavers and Native American artist Edgar Heap of Birds and The Studio Museum artists-in-residence exhibition. The Young Architects Program installation, jointly organized by MoMA and MoMA PS1, will be on view in the courtyard along with architectural models by the five finalists. On Saturdays, from July 6 through September 2, 2019, MoMA PS1’s celebrated summer music series Warm Up returns with daylong programs of live and electronic music from around the world.

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