Museum of Modern Art

Location: 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

Forever at the forefront, the Museum of Modern Art New York (MoMA) located on West 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in Midtown Manhattan is not only devoted to presenting the best in contemporary art, but also to promoting the understanding of modern art and expanding the definition of what is considered art in the first place. Whether it's showing you something you've never seen before or showing you how to see something familiar in a new way, the MoMA NYC is always an eye- and mind-opening experience.

Home to the world’s greatest assemblage of modern and contemporary art, the Museum of Modern Art NYC is, unsurprisingly, one of the most visited art museums in NYC—welcoming about 3 million people annually. Unsure where to start exploring its collection, which in its entirety holds nearly 200,000 pieces?

Below are our tips for 5 pieces you must see at MoMA New York:

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night (1889)

Van Gogh, a Dutch post-impressionist, created this piece during his stay at an asylum in Southern France. The scene, executed in short brushstrokes with very thick applications of paint, depicts the view from the window of his asylum room. He focused on a bright yellow morning star viewed just before sunrise.

Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory (1931)

At just 9.5x13 inches, this painting is quite small—but remains a prime example of Dali’s technical skill. The Spanish surrealist once claimed to work in a hallucinatory state, which would explain the melting clocks, dripping watches and ants in the pieces. Dali said he was inspired by the sight of Camembert cheese melting in the sun.

Georges Seurat, Grandcamp, Evening (1885)

This post-impressionist painter helped devise the pointillism technique, in which precise dots are applies as separate colors. When viewed from afar, they result in a seamless, blended scene; up close, they have an almost dizzying effect on the viewer. Here, Seurat illustrates the seaside village of Grandcamp-Maisy in his native France.

Henri Rousseau, The Sleeping Gypsy (1897)

The subject matter of this oil painting was unlike anything the artist had done before—leading some to claim it was a forgery. Rousseau, who was largely self-taught, was a student of primitivism, which focuses on non-Western themes. The sharp colors, fantastic imagery, and precise outlines in his work struck a chord with a younger generation of avant-garde painters. Rousseau elaborated "A mandolin player, lies with her jar beside her (a vase with drinking water), overcome by fatigue in a deep sleep. A lion chances to pass by, picks up her scent yet does not devour her. There is a moonlight effect, very poetic."

Paul Cezanne, Still Life with Ginger Jar, Sugar Bowl, and Oranges (1902-06)

Cezanne influenced cubism, fauvism and a generation of artists including Henri Matisse. The still life employs small brushstrokes and a palette of colors to build a complex shallow field around the subject. The tilted edge of the fruit dish here is slightly curved, providing an altered perspective.

MoMA hours: daily 10:30am-5:30pm and till 8pm on Fridays.

MoMA is easily accessed from either or Uptown or Downtown hop on, hop off tours.


This page was edited by Steven Thomas