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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) NYC: A Guide to Modern Art Marvels

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Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City is a testament to the power of human creativity and artistic expression. 

Boasting an unparalleled modern and contemporary art collection, this iconic institution draws art enthusiasts and curious visitors worldwide. 

MoMA is a treasure trove of artistic innovation, housing masterpieces by legendary artists like Van Gogh, Warhol, and Picasso. 

As you step into its hallowed halls, you’ll immerse yourself in a world of creativity, innovation, and artistic brilliance. 

In this comprehensive guide, you can learn about MoMA, from opening hours, the best time to visit, how to reach, notable artworks and more. 

Opening Hours of the Museum of Modern Art

MoMA opens its doors at 10.30 am every day of the week. However, closing times vary. 

From Sunday to Friday, the museum closes at 5.30 pm, while on Saturdays, it remains open until 7 pm. 

MoMA is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

For early birds and members, Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9.30 am to 10.30 am offer exclusive access to select galleries.

Best Time to Visit MoMA NYC

The best time to savor the museum’s offerings is during the initial hours from 10.30 am to 1 pm when crowds are thinner. 

Weekdays are generally less crowded than weekends, so consider a weekday visit for a more intimate experience. 

To escape the crowds entirely, consider visiting during the off-peak months of January, February, or September. 

If you’re interested in special exhibitions, weekdays typically see fewer visitors than weekends.

How Long Does It Take to Visit MoMA?

Exploring MoMA typically takes 2 to 3 hours to cover all the permanent collections and main exhibitions. 

If you wish to delve into special exhibitions, allocate extra time depending on their size and popularity. 

For those who relish in-depth exploration, more time may be necessary to appreciate the extensive collections fully. 

Conversely, limited-time visitors can focus on their preferred areas of interest.

Note: The long ticket counter queues can take up to 45 minutes during peak hours. To avoid queues and save time, it’s advisable to purchase your Museum of Modern Art tickets online.

How to Reach MoMA NYC

MoMA’s convenient location in Midtown Manhattan makes it easily accessible. 

Walking to MoMA is a viable option if you’re already exploring Manhattan. 

The museum is situated at 11 West 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

By Bus 

Visitors can take bus routes M1, M2, M3, M4 or M5 to reach MoMA from the east of NYC.

If you are traveling from the west of NYC to MoMA, the closest stop is M50.

By Subway

There are 4 possible subway routes to reach MoMA: 

  • Take the E or M train to Fifth Avenue/53rd Street station
  • Take the B, D, F, or M train to 47-50th Street Rockefeller Center station
  • Take B, D or E train to 7 Avenue Station
  • Take the N, Q, or R train to Fifth Avenue/59th Street station

The Museum of Modern Art is just a 5-minute walk from the above stations.

Once you arrive at the nearest subway station, you can exit and walk a short distance to MoMA.

The museum is located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, and the entrance is on 53rd Street.

By AAR 

Access-A-Ride (AAR) is a special transportation service for differently abled people.

This is the most convenient way for specially-abled visitors to reach MoMA. 

There are various ways to AAR: 

  • Schedule your ride. 

Provide the museum address, 11 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019 and request an AAR schedule.

  • Take AAR to the nearest Subway station or bus station

When scheduling your ride with AAR, let them know if you require special accommodations or assistance, such as a lift or ramp.

MoMA NYC Branches

MoMA has two branches in New York City, both accessible with a single ticket. 

The main museum in midtown Manhattan stands as one of the world’s premier modern art institutions. 

MoMA PS1, on the other hand, focuses on contemporary art and serves as a platform for artists to showcase their work. 

This branch also offers educational programs.

What to See at MoMA

With over 200,000 artworks on display, MoMA features a remarkable collection that includes works by Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin, Dali, Cezanne, and Picasso. 

The museum spans six floors, with Levels 4 and 5 showcasing paintings and sculptures by renowned artists.

However, with thoughtful planning, you can make the most of your visit and ensure you don’t miss out on the masterpieces that define this iconic institution. 

Here, we recommend a selection of must-see artworks at the Museum of Modern Art:

1. The Starry Night

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh

The Starry Night is undoubtedly one of MoMA’s crown jewels. 

Painted by Vincent Van Gogh during his stay at a mental asylum, this masterpiece vividly captures the turmoil within the artist’s mind. 

The swirling, turbulent sky above is a reflection of his inner struggles.

Interestingly, Van Gogh painted this scene 21 times from his East-facing window, resulting in multiple versions of ‘Starry Night.’ 

2. Drowning Girl

Artist: Roy Lichtenstein

Drowning Girl, created by Roy Lichtenstein, is a prime example of modern art. 

The painting is characterized by thick lines, bold colors, and dots with speech bubbles, reminiscent of a comic book style. 

It transports viewers to their comic-loving days, offering a unique blend of art and pop culture.

3. The Persistence of Memory

Artist: Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory is an iconic work of Surrealism, that explores the concept of time.

The landscape features melting watches, ants, and fleshy objects, symbolizing decay. 

Dali’s imaginative and thought-provoking masterpiece is a testament to his artistic brilliance.

4. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Artist: Pablo Picasso

Originally titled ‘Brothel of Avignon,’ Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is a groundbreaking work by Pablo Picasso.

Depicting five female prostitutes in Barcelona, this painting was initially criticized during Picasso’s time but has since become a significant piece in MoMA’s collection.

5. Campbell’s Soup Cans

Artist: Andy Warhol

Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol is a prime example of Pop Art. 

The exhibit showcases images of 32 different soup varieties offered by the American company Campbell’s. 

This artwork sends a powerful message about the democratization of art, emphasizing that art is accessible to everyone.

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