Walk Description

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) holds one of the world's premiere collections of modern art. Completely renovated and expanded in 2004 by Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, the museum provides the perfect backdrop for our seminar on modern art. Led by an art historian or art critic, this three-hour walk will cover both the standing collection (a chronological survey of the most important artists of the modern era) and the temporary exhibitions, and be organized to give both novice and seasoned museum-goer a thorough introduction to the modern movement and major art periods.

Conceived in the late 1920s by New York aristocrats Miss Lillie P. Bliss, Mrs. Cornelius J. Sullivan, and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, the MoMA was the first museum in America devoted exclusively to modern art. It was also the first of its kind in Manhattan to exhibit European modernism, with major retrospectives of the work of Van Gogh and Picasso that continue to fuel the public imagination. To this day, the museum carries on its' tradition of encouraging a deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art through a challenging series of exhibitions and regular public events, lectures and film screenings.

Since it's reopening, the MoMA has undertaken an ambitious exhibition schedule, showcasing it's comprehensive collection in “Modern Means: Continuity and Change in Art, 1880 to Now.” This show surveyed the course of modern art, from early European roots to our current global state of artistic production. It has also undertaken large scale multimedia projects, such as filmmaker Doug Aitkens' “Sleepwalkers,” an immensely scaled film projected on the outside of the building. In its' role as a cultural arbiter, the MoMA has opened itself to both intense praise and criticism as it continually attempts to redefine what constitutes important contemporary art.

Our walking seminar will vary based on current exhibition schedules and will largely be decided by our docent's strong knowledge of the museum's collection and history. We will spend much of our time in the six-story David and Peggy Rockefeller Building, which houses the main collection and temporary exhibition galleries. We will visit the lower galleries, which contain some of the worlds' great modern masterpieces, as well as the expansive, skylit galleries for temporary exhibitions located on the top floor. Weather permitting, we will also visit the beloved Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, a tranquil outdoor space featuring masterworks of modern sculpture, seasonal plantings, and reflecting pools. The exact course of our walk varies day to day but promises to give a comprehensive survey of the continuously unfolding modern movement in a range of visual media and expression

Please note: if you have a membership to MoMA, please indicate this in the Notes section when checking out. We will then remove the required MoMA tickets from your order.

Duration: 3 hours
Category: Art
Venues: MoMA
Additional Costs:
  • MoMA Tickets - US$25.00 (mandatory)

    Tickets to MoMA are included in the price of this walk.

  • MOMA ticket (Senior) - US$18.00
  • MoMA Ticket (child) - US$0.00
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    Ara Merjian

    Ara H. Merjian is Assistant Professor of Italian Studies and Art History at NYU. He received his B.A. from Yale University in the History of Art, and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He has published articles in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including Grey Room, The Getty Research Journal, Modernism/Modernity and Res, and is the author of Giorgio de Chirico and the Metaphysical City, which will be published in 2013 by Yale University Press. He has taught at Stanford and Harvard Universities, and has held major fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), and the Stanford Society of Fellows. He is a regular critic for Artforum, Art in America, and Frieze, and has authored reviews in The Papers of Surrealism, Afterimage, and Modern Painters. He has lectured widely internationally, and been an invited speaker at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, the Académie de France in Rome, and the Review Panel of the National Academy in New York. He teaches courses on the French avant-garde, Italian modernism, Neo-realist cinema, and Nietzschean philosophy and aesthetics.

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    Claire Barliant

    Claire Barliant is a Brooklyn-based freelance critic and writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications including Afterall, Art in America, Artforum, Bookforum, and Time Out New York, and in books on the artists Inigo Manglano-Ovalle and Ann Lislegaard. She is formerly an associate editor of Artforum and an editor of Modern Painters, where she was executive editor from 2007 to 2009.

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    Wendy Lubovich

    Wendy Lubovich is a graduate of Christie’s Education in London with a Fine and Decorative Arts degree. She has been an educator at the Frick Collection and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, along with the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. A writer specializing in art and design, Wendy is also a former television news anchor who brings a curiosity and directness into understanding art. A life long painter, Wendy’s passion is to connect people and art in a creative and conversational way.

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    Monica Valley

    Monica Valley is a media designer and an art historian, specializing in later twentieth century art. A frequent lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Columbia, focusing on the work of Robert Rauschenberg. Ms. Valley has programmed and led art study tours to India, Italy and Brazil, and is fluent in Portuguese.