Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art was described by its first director as “a torpedo moving through time.” Since opening in 1929, MoMA has secured its place as a pioneer collector and exhibitor of modern art-from 19th-century Post-Impressionism to contemporary installations. MoMA’s collection includes painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, photography, film, architecture and design. In addition to its many galleries, the museum has a sculpture garden designed by Philip Johnson and also sponsors numerous gallery talks, lectures and performances.
The new, eight-story education building at MoMA opened in late 2006, the final phase of the museum’s expansion led by Yoshio Taniguchi. The building anchors itself to the eastern side of the sculpture garden. In it, the museum offers educational programs in four areas: Adult and Academic Programs, Community and Access Programs, School and Teacher Programs, and Educational Resources. Since 2000 P.S. 1 has been affiliated with MoMA, becoming, in effect, the contemporary wing of that prestigious institution.
MoMA’s two movie theaters present more than 30 screenings per week from the museum’s vast film collection. View showtimes.
Programs for Seniors
The monthly Meet Me at MoMA program allows people with dementia—and their families and/or caregivers—to discuss art with specially trained MoMA educators who cover themes, artists and exhibitions. Attendees look at art in the galleries and then make artwork of their own. Supplementing this program, the MoMA Alzheimer’s Project offers resources that can be used by museums, assisted-living facilities and other community organizations serving people with dementia and their caregivers.
Modern Kids is an audio guide for families with young children. Various characters engage children about works of art using poetry, music and secret information. Works of art on the tour include Picasso’s Three Musicians, Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie and Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series. Available free of charge with a Modern Kids audio map at the audio program desks.
The free Family Activity Guide offers activities and ideas for looking at the collection and special exhibitions. Inside are questions for guided looking, activities and suggestions for further exploration. Guides are available at the lobby information desk, on the second, third, fourth, and fifth floors, and at the Education and Family Information Desk (near Cafe 2). Suggested ages vary by guide.
Tours for Fours is a weekend program specially designed for four-year-old visitors and their family members. It explores the world of modern and contemporary art and engages everyone with interactive gallery activities and discussions. Each month a new theme is introduced.
Tours for Tots, Family Films and gallery talks such as Dark Shadows: Mysteries in Art and Have a Seat! A Day in the Life of a Chair are only some of the family programs offered. In gallery talks, participatory activities engage the entire family in discussion, while other tours and programs are designed for families with children ages 4 to 10. Exhibits range from the practical—beautifully designed appliances, office equipment, tools—to the sublime. Kids can contemplate Monet’s Water Lilies, Dance with Matisse, gaze upon van Gogh’s The Starry Night and then ponder Robert Rauschenberg’s Bed at the end of the visit. Some programs offered in sign language.
MoMA’s extensive Department of Education offers programs that not only enhance students’ enjoyment of art, but also encourage them to develop skills to analyze and understand it. An Education Center is staffed with aides devoted to helping attain that goal. Guided school group tours are offered Monday through Friday beginning at 9:30 am. Single visit and multi-part programs are available. Through a range of programs, from in-class slide presentations and lectures to Saturday afternoon workshops for high school students, teachers can custom-design an arts curriculum, helping students learn to open their eyes to the new, while gaining a greater appreciation of the familiar. All students and teachers participating in museum programs receive return passes.