Attending a special member preview night before the official opening of the newly unveiled Museum of Modern Art was a special treat and a great way to take in the new changes and significant expansion of this New York institution.
The museum is vastly larger in its new incarnation with spaces both large and intimate and a dizzying number of exhibition rooms for myriad pieces and styles of art. Even the outdoor sculpture garden underwent some major changes with more contemporary works on display and a wider variety of mediums.
Inside, curators embarked on a wholly different way of displaying the permanent collection. Centered around themes or concepts, artworks that at first may seem disparate are put into a context that links particular aspects of a period or creates linear understanding between past and present in any particular artistic movement. In addition, novel ways of display are also employed with many pieces propped up in support frames on floor platforms as well as video projection works playing on the walls between inanimate pieces making the spaces truly come to life.
There are also expansive spaces where larger, singular works can be displayed with a level of majesty. And along the way, as you tour the rooms, there are wonderful sitting areas set up with comfortable chairs, side tables and benches geared for comfortable and focused concentration on the presented works.
New restaurants are available for dining and the gift shop is now on a level directly below the former store providing for soaring floor to ceiling bookshelves and expanded product display.
The interior color scheme has changed slightly as well. Rather than a full reliance on completely white walls, the public areas now boast matte black painted walls, honey colored staircases with glass and steel rails and exhibition rooms in painted color, such as aubergine.
The museum will continue to host special curated exhibitions in addition to more actively rotating the permanent collection, refreshing the spaces every few months, with the goal to give time and attention to all the different artists and their mediums that are in the museum’s canon.
All of these changes signify a contemporary view of art appreciation and, whether extending square footage or changing paint color, have given New Yorkers and all those that visit an experience that is vital, thought-provoking and ready for the future.
A new day, a new MoMA—welcome!