One striking aspect of the newly renovated, re-designed and re-opened Museum of Modern Art is the attractive, wide-open spaces in galleries located in the addition to MoMA. There is impressive wall space for paintings to be hung with comfortable distance between them, and that goes for the galleries with prominent floor installations as well.
The changes to MoMA have been made at a cost of $50 for the renovations and the higher amount of $400 million for the construction undertaken in newly added property. The gallery space has been increased by a third, now totaling 165,000 square feet.
The visitor returning will notice some changes even before entering. If one looks through the glass façade on West 53rd Street, one can see that the bookstore has been shifted to one level down.
The overall architecture by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler will of course strike different observers in varied ways. The stress has been on giving the museum a contemporary fit in the New York City landscape. The interior main lobby also gives an impression of spaciousness, as do the passageways in the new structure.
The renowned Sculpture Garden remains a prime attraction easily visible, and the area containing the cinemas remains readily accessible.
It will take some time to wander about and visit all of the areas where art is displayed, and no matter how up-to-date and spacious the museum looks, its orientation toward content is ultimately how it will be judged.
One thing is already clear. MoMA is dedicated to providing more space to art from different parts of the world in addition to exhibiting the collection for which it has become famous over the years. In that sense it is keeping up with recognition of new achievements and a wider cultural diversity.
I leave that to the art critics who will be weighing various new exhibitions that are now and will be highlighted over the coming years. MoMA, which has been holding various previews for press and members, opens officially on October 21. An early visit is strongly recommended for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Admission: Adults $25, seniors $18, students $14, children 16 and under free. At 11 West 53rd Street. Phone: 212-708-9400. Posted October 13, 2019.