Museum of Modern Art NYC

Hi friends, welcome back! After living in NYC for almost five years, I finally made it to the Museum of Modern Art. I’m not sure what we were thinking, but Jon and I decided to go on a chilly Saturday afternoon, and clearly everyone else had the same idea. We didn’t have any issue getting tickets or have to wait in any lines, but each gallery room was packed! I naively thought the crowds would wind down in the afternoon and we also decided to wing it, so it was kind of an interesting experience.

The Museum of Modern Art was founded in 1929 and its “collection has grown to approximately 200,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, media and performance art works, architectural models and drawings, design objects, and films.” There was a huge variety of items to view and also film clips being shown by projectors. You can visit the museum 10:30am – 5:30pm daily and Saturdays are open until 7pm. Tickets are $25 for adults, but NYC residents can visit free from 4pm – 8pm on the first Friday of every month.

Jon and I walked in with no game plan or idea of what the most popular pieces were. We decided to start on the fifth floor and make our way down. After exiting the elevator we immediately saw huge crowds and as we got closer we realized it was the famous Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. I almost wished it had a line like at the Mona Lisa so it would be more organized.

We continued on seeing very interesting pieces and then decided we better do a little research so we didn’t miss anything important. We collected ourselves and were on the lookout for the famous pieces.

This one made me laugh because my sister used to draw people with legs and arms coming out of their bodies. Maybe she missed her calling…

One of the most famous is this Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali. We had seen this picture so many times, but the actual painting wasn’t much larger than a piece of paper.

Self Portrait with Cropped Hair By Frida Kahlo.

Campbell Soup by Andy Warhol.

The Dream by Henri Rousseau.

I did love the Water Lilies by Claude Monet. We didn’t get to visit the famous Water Lilies room at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, so this made up for it a bit.

I realized that modern art just isn’t my jam, I much prefer the art at the Met. Some things were just very out there for me. It also felt a lot more compact and crowded than the Met. I was worried I would accidentally knock something over with all the crowds and people not looking where they were walking. Jon also didn’t love the museum, but we are glad we visited it and can cross it off our list. If you like modern art you’d enjoy the museum, but if you’re debating museums on a trip to NYC I’d recommend sticking to the Met. Have you visited the MoMa?

48 thoughts on “Museum of Modern Art NYC

  1. I don’t really enjoy much modern art either.. my favorites are the impressionists followed by the realists.

    1. I do like the impressionists best of the modern art. My favorite is the modern art I see in fancy modern homes.

    1. I’m glad this brought back some good memories! There is a lot to see and I’m surprised I didn’t do more research before going like I do with every other museum I visit. At least I have the luxury of always being able to go back.

  2. Yeah, modern art doesn’t really do it for me either. It would be neat to see some of the more famous works at the MoMA, though.

    1. The more famous pieces are definitely worth seeing! We think we saw everything in about two hours which isn’t too bad.

    1. I was very glad I had read about the Mona Lisa line before, otherwise I would’ve been so shocked. I love Monet too!

  3. I’ve never been to MoMa. At first I got the impression it was like the Smithsonian where it would take several days to get through everything. But then you said “compact and crowded” so I’m thinking it’s possible to get through in a day. $25 seems very reasonable for admittance. Was “Starry Night” unprotected? Your photo with the crowd suggests that it was (i.e. not behind glass), which surprises me. I’m with you on not appreciating modern art; the Warhol is the perfect example.

    1. I was lucky to see the original Starry. Starry night at the Detroit Institute of Arts voted the best art museum in the U.S. 2 years in a row. I saw the big or little dipper. In it. In Detroit there were no lines. Not sure why it is classified modern are? But who am I to judge? Now. I have to know…..which sister drew legs out of bodies? 😁

      1. I vaguely remember going there on a field trip, but definitely didn’t appreciate any art as a kid. I think it is classified as modern art because of the time period it was painted in. It doesn’t look like what you would think modern art is. Haha it was Kristen – she drew arms and legs out of bodies and probably hair too. I always laughed because the little girls I babysat would draw bows and purses on their people and Kristen just drew blob people.

    2. We think we saw everything in about two hours, so definitely easy to see in one day. Not possible at the Met. $25 is reasonable, although at the Met it is free for NYC residents so another point for the Met. “Starry Night” only had a security guard, so it seems possible it could be caked too.

  4. As you know, I’m a big fan of Modern Art but equally I’ve enjoyed visiting The Met. The latter requires more time to get around, a bit like the Louvre. I recognised a few of the pieces you photographed at MoMa from when I visited last summer.

    1. Yes, you are much more appreciative of art than me. I like the big open rooms at The Met and Louvre with paintings that take up the whole wall.

  5. \ I’ve only seen the poster form of “Starry Nights” so it’s nice to see a picture of the actual painting. Thanks for sharing :)..agree, I like the style of art shown at the Met a little more as well..

    1. Glad you enjoyed! I thought I was going to be the only one that prefers the Met, but seems the general consensus 🙂

  6. We visited The Met when we were over but not MoMA as I’m not really into modern art either though II have been to numerous galleries around the world. I did like Monet’s Waterlilies as I’m fond of Impressionists though.

    1. I think the MoMa is worth a visit once, but it seems the Met you can visit multiple times and see different things each time. I like Monet and Impressionists too 🙂

    1. You’d love this museum! Hahah yes that painting spoke to me, but not in the way the artist intended. My grandpa was a good painter and we all have a few hanging around our homes, but it seems to have skipped the two generations after him!

  7. When we visited NYC a few years ago, we made the mistake of visiting the MOMA on the first Friday of the month when tickets are free. It was super crazy busy. Modern art isn’t my thing either. Maybe I’m just not that creative enough.

    1. Oh man I can only imagine! When I plan my trips places they always talk about avoiding the free days at all costs, and I sometimes think how bad can it really be, but I don’t like crowds so I won’t even try to find out.

  8. I have to say you’re not really seeing me on MoMA. I’m not a modern art person either, but still thought want to see it. I had imagined a much larger space that you wander through for days. I would still like to see some of the classic Starry Nights or Persistence of Memory. Thanks for the tour! Maggie

    1. It’s definitely worth seeing once because you can see it all in a few hours. The Met you can go time and time again and still see new things. Glad you enjoyed the tour!

  9. Amazing collection! Though the admittance fee sounds reasonable at first, when you imagine a family of four going for a visit, that’s a 100 dollars. My feeling is that museums of this significance should be free of charge. Just like many London museum are.

    1. Very true! Seems no museums in America are free, except the Met is pay as you wish for CT, NJ, and NY residents. I guess it pays the high property tax and upkeep for renovations, but we would much prefer it was free haha

  10. It’s too bad the museum was packed, but great that you managed to visit it nonetheless! I’m not too much of a fan of modern art either, but I do love some of these artworks (Monet for instance is probably a favourite of mine). I’d love to visit this museum one day though!

  11. Lizzy,
    I have been here a lot longer and I have only been to MOMA once, years ago. Thanks for the preview and maybe it is time for me to expand my scope of things to do in the city.
    I Continue to enjoy your blog but sometimes after reading I get very hungry.


    1. There is always so much to do, I see new things on your blog too. I always find the good eats 🙂

  12. Unfortunately for me, the MoMA was undergoing a major renovation during my last stay in NY, but I agree that the Met is more eclectic and ultimately more informative.

    1. That is a bummer, hopefully you will be able to see all the new parts one day. I didn’t anticipate such a big size difference between the Met and MoMa.

      1. For sure, MoMa and The Frick Collection will be prime targets, but if I have time and the weather is not as good as last time, I will go back to the Met again.

  13. So much incredible art under one roof. You could easily spent a good couple of hours there exploring. Seeing Van Gogh’s The Starry Night is such a treat. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. Aiva xx

    1. There is so much to see, we loved seeing The Starry Night in person, such a treasure. Hope you had a great weekend!

  14. I’m so glad you shared this post, Lyssy! The MoMA is one of my top NY “to do” list items because I do love modern art – well all art, if I’m being honest. The Met is up there too. I would not enjoy fighting crowds, but I guess that’s inevitable in NYC.

    1. You’ll love this museum and of course the Met too! Very true there are always crowds in NYC. It confirmed my decision to make early reservations for the museums we visit in Italy this summer so we can avoid as many crowds as possible.

  15. This looks fantastic. ‘Just been to National Gallery London on family visit as my son wanted also to see Les Miserables. Enjoyed the Van Gogh immersive experience in Spitalfields. Fantastic. His colours are wonderful. Paints spread thick like butter on bread. On my blog, London in 10 if you want a glimpse. Not yet been in NY.

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