The goal of this massive undertaking was the ability to display more of its vast art collection to it’s now over 3 million annual visitors from across the globe.
Expanding westwards to 53 West 53rd in a new supertall building designed by Jean Nouvel, on the site of the former Folk Art Museum, one can now marvel at the stunning works of contemporary art covering a period from the 1880s to the 1970s, with stunning welcome of Frida Kahlo’s ‘Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair’ (1940).
The galleries run more or less chronologically, with organisation around themes. That’s not to say there aren’t surprises such as in the MOMA’s second room, where a collection of ceramic vessels made around 1900 by George Ohr, quietly shares space with European greatest hits like Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night‘. Also female subjects appear rather than as the usual Gauguin or Picasso’s semi-nudes, rather as fully clothed wives and mothers in prints by Mary Cassatt and Édouard Vuillard.
As Charlotte Higgins observed in the Guardian: “The view of art history on show here is no longer one of straight lines and linear progressions, but one much more like the complex ripples set in motion by pebbles thrown into a pond.”
When in Manhattan, this is undeniably an art must thanks to the stunning artworks on display that expand the definition and sensation of art. With Original Senses guiding the way, access to this and Manhattan’s many other glorious museums and galleries can be achieved behind the scenes, allowing for the complete story of these magnificent artworks and their buildings to be painted for you in even brighter colours and bolder brushstrokes.