The Art of Design

The Art of Design


Excitement builds as New York’s iconic Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) reopens after a four month, $450 million makeover renovation project, which includes an additional 165,000 square feet of gallery space. The museum is the second most popular museum in New York, in terms of visitor numbers, after the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which hosted 7.36 million visitors in 2018 compared with roughly 3 million visitors to the MoMA.

The renovations were two fold – one part involving the architecture and the installation of new walls and the other part is the art that’s due to be hung on these walls. To achieve this, the architects were tasked with converting an iconic space, that was designed in the 20th century to display art in the mode associated with that time and rethink how the space would best be used now and, therefore bring it bang up to date and into the 21st century – all within the strict architecture confines and limitations of Manhattan construction codes. Renowned architects; Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who recently completed The Shed in New York's newest neighbourhood, Hudson Yards, and  collaborating with Gensler, took on the task of expanding a museum that had been designed and redesigned many times before they arrived to the site.

As the home base for the modernist movement and the very embodiment of cultural currency, the MoMa is synonymous with world-class art and in the same ilk as the Louvre in Paris or the National Gallery, in London. Since the MoMa Opened in 1939, its walls have entertained hundreds of millions of visitors while evolving, in shape and in size, by the hands of the world's most celebrated architects. During the ’50s and ’60s, Philip Johnson was in charge of its metamorphosis. A decade later it was Cesar Pelli who led the expansion. Then it was a major renovation in 2004 by Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi that made the space more capacious. But that's not why people kept coming. It was, of course, to see works by the names of artists they've heard of before: Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, O’Keeffe, Pollock and Warhol to name a few. And while these timeless works of art will be are on display as the MoMA reopens its doors with a fresh layout guests, should be more excited to view the works by artists they've likely never heard of before.

It’s worth noting, the renovated MoMA will now include roughly 28% of its works that were done by women, while 21% will have been created by lesser-known artists from outside of Western Europe, the U.S., and Canada. The significance of this can't be overstated, as the decision to include such a diverse field of artists is what has finally pushed MoMA into the 21st century.


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