Tunde Folawiyo | A History of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art

Located in Midtown Manhattan, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) remains one of New York City’s most treasured attractions, drawing in thousands annually with its astounding collection of world-famed modern art. As one of the most esteemed modern art museums on earth, MoMa is forever Tunde Folawiyocemented in the city’s rich art culture, providing audiences a glimpse of some of the most significant creative works the world has ever seen. Those with an appreciation for the thriving art cultures of New York City, including Tunde Folawiyo and countless others, may view the MoMA as a quintessential New York hot spot.

The depths of MoMA’s collections are simply staggering. Today, the institution houses over 300,000 books and priodicals, with individual files for over 70,000 artists. The idea of MoMA was first developed by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller – John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s wife – and two friends, Mary Quinn Sullivan and Lillie P. Bliss. The museum was once held in modest quarters, with the women renting a spot in the Heckscher Building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th in Manhattan for its debut. Nine days after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Museum of Modern Art was open to the public, marking the beginning of one of the most famed art institutions in the world. At the time of its opening, the MoMA was the first museum in Manhattan to exhibit the works of European modernism and the first in America to be devoted solely to the genre of modern art.

At the time of its establishment, the museum’s contents were meager, though they quickly expanded once excitement over the museum grew. Whilst it once housed but eight prints and one drawing, the museum’s first successful loan exhibition came during November 1929 when paintings by Gauguin, Van Gogh and Seurat were revealed to audiences. An additional Vincent van Gogh exhibit began on November 4, 1935 and brought with it sixty-six oil paintings and fifth drawings, as well as excerpts from his personal letters. The immense success of the exhibit paved the way for future showcases, demonstrating the outstanding impact the works housed at MoMA have forged upon the world.

As New York City and its long-held history as one of the most culturally rich cities in the world remain, art enthusiasts such as Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others with a love for The Big Apple may continue to flock to the MoMA to bask in the wonder of its one-of-a-kind works of art.

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