The MoMA Finally Reopened in NYC — and It Will Have You Falling in Love With Modern Art All Over Again
On my first visit to New York City, I had a few hours before a friend got off of work and I knew exactly how I wanted to spend my time. The yellow taxi dropped me off at 53rd St. and 6th Ave. and I left my luggage at the coat check in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art. I was a student of art and culture, and this was home to the impactful works of my most beloved artists. Now, as an NYC resident, the MoMA is where I spend at least one day a year, mostly to visit the special exhibitions. I’ve learned to dodge crowds and zip past all the works I originally saw as a tourist.
Until now, I was starting to see the MoMA as an Ikea of art; make one trip a year to see what’s new and leave feeling inspired yet exhausted. The new MoMA, however, may be a place I frequent much more often.
The museum is reopening its doors on Monday, Oct. 21 after being closed since June of this year. It has spent $450 million on renovations and new construction that extends its gallery spaces by 30 percent. The expansion of 165,000 square feet will accommodate an ever-growing collection of art and feature work by more artists of color and women from around the world. It will also have additional room for the annual 3 million museum-goers to navigate the galleries.
Founded in 1929, MoMA is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its commitment to helping the world understand and enjoy modern and contemporary art. The reopening has the art world abuzz with opinions on the freshly reconfigured galleries. The expansion has allowed curators from across the museum’s departments to reconsider the history it is presenting. Every square inch of wall space has been changed to include a larger mix of art mediums in the galleries while still maintaining a loose chronological order from the fifth floor down to the second. You’ll find paintings, sculpture, and photography in the same room that present different ideas on similar themes from the same time period to spark conversation and foster learning.
The museum will change exhibits every six to nine months, giving patrons even more of a reason to visit again and again. You’ll always be able to see the Picasso classics and Van Gogh’s Starry Night, but you'll also be inspired to spend time with artists you've never heard of before.
Being in the new space felt like my first visit — taking in every layer of paint, eyes wide. Even my old favorite by Henri Matisse felt fresh next to a colorful piece by Alma Woodsey Thomas.
When the MoMA reopens its doors today, tourists will continue to flood in, looking for the more famous pieces that have long graced its walls. Hopefully now they'll leave with new insight, having discovered new favorite artists. It’s an incredibly exciting time for the Museum of Modern Art, surely one not to miss on your next visit to New York City. And for a budget-friendly visit, you can view the first-floor gallery space for free without a museum ticket.