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The Museum of Modern Art offers an unrivaled view of modern artists and movements that have made the period from about 1885 to the present one of the most varied and revolutionary in the entire history of art.
The collection of modern painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, illustrated books, architectural models and drawings, design, photography, film, and video is the most comprehensive in the world.
From The Museum of Modern Art's founding in 1929, it has been dedicated to helping people understand and enjoy the visual arts of our time and to providing New York with one of "the greatest museum of modern art in the world."
From an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing in 1929, the Museum's collection has grown to approximately 100,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and plans, and design objects. The Museum also owns some 10,000 films and four million film stills. It currently has 87,000 square feet of gallery space -- 67,000 devoted to the permanent collection, 20,000 to temporary exhibitions.
From the beginning, the formation of the Museum's collections established a forward-looking standard for acquisitions and exhibitions. The Museum was the first art museum to recognize the motion picture as an art form; as early as 1935 it had begun to collect and preserve significant films, many of which would otherwise have been lost forever. Similarly, virtually from the Museum's beginning, it recognized photography as a fine art and was collecting and exhibiting photographs as such long before other major museums.
As a pioneer in the fields of architecture and of graphic, industrial, and textile design, the Museum has brought about profound changes affecting the lives of all Americans.
Program of Temporary Exhibitions
The Museum's temporary exhibitions range from retrospective studies of the work of major modern and contemporary artists to examinations of the cultural and aesthetic contexts of major historical movements. In ongoing series, the PROJECTS exhibitions are devoted to work in all mediums by less well-established artists.
The newly evolving in architecture and design is examined in the PREVIEW and THRESHOLDS of CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE series; an exploration of recent work in film and video is sustained through the CINEPROBE, VIDEO VIEWPOINTS, and NEW DOCUMENTARIES series.
The Museum's program of nationally circulating exhibitions makes a wide ranging selection of shows available to other institutions in the United States and Canada every year, while the International Program circulates many exhibitions throughout the world. The Department of Film has its own circulating program that serves several thousand institutions across the country.
Agnes Gund, President