For its 90th anniversary, the MoMA, re-designed by the museum alongside architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Gensler, will open fresh and new on October 21.
40,000 square feet of additional gallery space will enable the museum “to exhibit significantly more art in new and interdisciplinary ways,” says museum press release.
The MoMA, first conceived in the late 1920s by three progressive patrons of the arts, Lillie P. Bliss, Mary Quinn Sullivan and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, was created with the purpose of challenging a spirit of conservatism that characterized the dominant museums and galleries of the time. The public reacted very positively to the museum’s opening in 1929. The MoMA then moved three times for larger locations until it reopened where it still stands today, West 53rd St.
Adding more space to the MoMA enables to open the museum to different artistic disciplines and activities broadening its possibilities like experiencing a Creativity Lab, hosting more visitors and making the ground floor galleries accessible for those who can't afford the 25$ entrance to all the collections. MoMA’s director, Glenn Lowry, said the museum’s aim was threefold: to make more space for the collection, reorganise the gallery and to bring more of the city into the space. In a word: updated.
One major organizational change consisted in putting an end to the chronological perspective of art. For the first time, Glenn Lowry states the MoMA dares to hang Picasso alongside Ringgold. Putting paintings out of their context or mixing contexts is a lot like what we experience everyday says Glenn Lowry: “We all live now with screens and we’re used to this kind of lateral projection of imagery. You tap here, you get this, you connect this. There’s a kind of seamlessness to the way we absorb both images in the virtual world and images in the physical world. And so I think part of what we wanted to do was to clearly recognise that our audiences, not just our younger audiences, all of our audiences, are experiencing imagery in new and different ways.”
Last but not least is the museum's statement for greater diversity among the artists and more regular rotation in the art pieces so that every six months a third of the works will be different.