The Museum of Modern Art has had different stages of development, each characterized by an expansion. In 1939, after having already moved three times in ten years, the museum found its permanent location on West 53rd Street, where it remains today. Since then, MoMA has been reshaped several times.
First, Philip Johnson designed the new expansion during the 1950s and the 1960s, and he also remodeled the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in 1964.
Brett Weston, [Floating Figure by Gaston Lachaise, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, Museum of Modern Art, New York], ca. 1945 (330.2003)
In terms of art production and vitality, the 1950s and 60s were exceptional. During that period the museum continued to build its collections with acquisitions of American post-war art such as abstract expressionism, color field painting, and lyrical abstraction.
Larry Fink, MoMa Benefit, N.Y.C., June 1977 (618.1986)
Larry Fink, MoMA Benefit, June 1977 (636.1986)
In 1984, César Pelli was in charge of the museum’s major renovation, which doubled the gallery space. In 2004, Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi again increased the exhibition space and renovated the museum.
Garry Winogrand, MoMA opening, the sculpture garden, 1981 (520.1983)
Jean Nouvel’s 2007 to 2009 project, Tower Verre, caught the media’s attention with its height. MoMA Expansion Tower has been envisioned as a skyscraper that includes a hotel, apartments, and additional exhibition space for the museum. Now, a new block will be included in this “museum campus.” By the end of 2018, the museum will consist in five buildings. In fact, the former American Folk Art Museum has been already been purchased by MoMa and it will be probably torn down by the end of this year.
Garry Winogrand, Woman slipping off her shoes at the Museum of Modern Art, 1981 (526.1983)
We will have to wait to learn who will design MoMA’s next space.