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Long Profile of The Museum of Modern Art


MoMA, Getty Images

Artist James Rosenquist's 'F-111' at the newly renovated Museum of Modern Art in 2004. Architect Yoshio Taniguchi's design doubled the capacity of the former building to encompass 630,000 square feet on six floors.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images


The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 as an educational institution in New York City.

The museum which began with one drawing and eight prints, has expanded to a collection of "over 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects."

"MoMA also owns approximately 22,000 films and four million film stills, and MoMA's Library and Archives, the premier research facilities of their kind in the world, hold over 300,000 books, artist books, and periodicals, and extensive individual files on more than 70,000 artists. The Museum Archives contains primary source material related to the history of MoMA and modern and contemporary art."


The Museum of Modern Art was established in 1929 by three arts patrons: Lillie P. Bliss, Mary Quinn Sullivan, and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, who wanted a museum focused on modern art. Alfred H. Barr, Jr. was appointed the founding Director.

In 1939, MoMA moved to its current location at 11 West 53rd Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City.


The Museum of Modern Art's mission:

"Through the leadership of its Trustees and staff, The Museum of Modern Art manifests this commitment by establishing, preserving, and documenting a permanent collection of the highest order that reflects the vitality, complexity and unfolding patterns of modern and contemporary art; by presenting exhibitions and educational programs of unparalleled significance; by sustaining a library, archives, and conservation laboratory that are recognized as international centers of research; and by supporting scholarship and publications of preeminent intellectual merit."

"Central to The Museum of Modern Art's mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national, and international audiences that it serves."


The Museum of Modern Art is located in New York City. Easily accessible via bus, subway and taxi, it is one of the most popular sites in NYC for tourists and residents alike.

Museum's Conservation Department:

The Conservation Department came into being after the Museum's 1958 fire.

"Preservation of The Museum of Modern Art's collection is the principal responsibility of the Conservation Department. The department handles all aspects of the preservation and restoration of the Museum's collections in all mediums except library books, archival materials, and films—the latter is handled by and stored at the Museum's Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center. Although hands-on restoration is the unique responsibility of the Conservation Department, it also advises on specific environmental controls and needs, special exhibitions, travel, packing, and installation requirements. These activities, part of an overall preventative conservation program for the Museum's collections, seek to prevent damage to and degradation of the collections through considered care and handling of the works of all times."

Famed Artworks in Collection:

The Museum of Modern Art has acquired famous artworks by artists such as Matisse, van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, Pollock and Kahlo.

Noteworthy Facts:

"MoMA PS1 (in Long Island City) is one of the oldest and largest non-profit contemporary art institutes in the United States; an exhibition space rather than a collecting museum, it serves as a catalyst and an advocate for new ideas, discourses, and trends in contemporary art."

Employment Information:

Job listings at MoMA and MoMA PS1 change regularly in the various departments such as Archival, Conservation, Curatorial, Design and Marketing, Technology, Sales, Security, and so forth, so be sure to check the Museum listings periodically.

How to Apply for a Job:

MoMA recommends that you send in your resume and specify which department you are applying to, such as:

Administrative, Archival, Conservation, Curatorial, Education, Finance, Human Resources, Libraries, Maintenance, Retail Sales, Security, etc.

Museum's Contact Info:

The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street New York, NY 10019, Tel: (212) 708-9400

Email: info@moma.org

MoMA's website

Museum Hours:

Sunday 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Monday 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Tuesday Closed; Wednesday 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Thursday 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.; Open until 8:30 p.m. the first Thursday of every month, September–June; Friday 10:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

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