The Museum of Modern Art (also known as MoMA) is the world’s foremost collection of modern and contemporary art.
Located in New York, MoMA is filled with paintings by Van Goghs, Warhols and Picassos, which are sure to turn you into an art fan.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know before your visit to the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Museum of Modern Art is in Midtown Manhattan.
Its address is:
11 West 53 Street,
There is a smaller branch almost 5 Kms (3 Miles) away in Queens called MoMA PS1.
You must know that MoMA PS1 does not have permanent exhibits.
Note: This article is about the main Museum
How to get to MoMA
If you are already in midtown Manhattan, you can walk to MoMA.
It is walking distance from many of the tourist attractions in Manhattan.
Top of the Rock to MoMA: 6 mins walk
Grand Central terminal to MoMA: 6 mins walk
St Patrick’s Cathedral: 4 mins walk
If you are further away, we recommend you take one of the public transport options to get to MoMA.
The best mode of transport in New York’s traffic is the subway.
1. You can ride E or M line to Fifth Avenue or 53rd street station
2. Train B/D/F/M to 47-50th streets or Rockefeller Center station will also drop at you at your destination
3. B/D/E trains to 7th Avenue Station also connect to MoMA
4. F train to 57th Street Station
Parking near MoMA
If you choose to drive your way to MoMA, here are two parking lots available near the Museum.
ICON Parking: It is on 1330 Sixth Avenue with entrances from 94W. 54 St. and 75 W. 53St. Between Fifth and Sixth aves.
– Up to 2 hours: $31.50
– Up to 4 hours: $34.50
The 1345 Garage: It is on 101-41 W. 54 St. Between Sixth and Seventh Aves.
– Up to 2 hours: $20
– Up to 4 hours: $24
You must validate the parking tickets in the Museum lobby.
MoMA opening hours
The Museum of Modern Art is open seven days a week from 10.30 am to 5:30 pm.
If you are a member, you can access the Museum early at 9:30 am.
On Fridays, to accommodate the crowd, MoMA stays open till 8:00 pm.
MoMA remains closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Best time to visit MoMA
MoMA gets almost 3 Million visitors annually.
That means an average of 8000 visitors enter the Museum every day.
That’s why visitors want to know the best time to get to MoMA – when the crowd is less, and the lines are short.
Unlike other Museums, MoMA doesn’t get a surge of visitors on weekends.
The Museum remains busy throughout the week.
However, there are certain times which are better than the others.
The best time to visit the Museum of Modern Art is between 11:30 am and 1 pm and from 3 pm to 5.30 pm.
During these two time intervals, both the crowd and the waiting period is minimum.
The best way to skip the lines at MoMA is by buying ‘Skip The Line’ tickets online.
Many tourists in New York end up asking, ‘MOMA or The Met’? Check out this article on MOMA vs The Met and decide for yourself.
Duration of MoMA tour
If you want to know how long it takes to go around MoMA, the correct answer is, “It depends on the kind of explorer you are.”
Tourists on a quick visit explore the highlights and finish their tour in 45 to 60 minutes.
However, most visitors set aside 2.5 hours for this Modern Art Museum in New York.
There are three restaurants in the Museum, and if you take a break, this tour duration can get extended. link to restaurants
MoMA Free Friday
MoMA free entry is a dream come true for art lovers on tight budgets.
MoMA free Friday starts every Friday at 5.30 pm and lasts till 9 pm.
However, it isn’t easy to get into MoMA for free – you may have to wait in a queue for 30-45 mins before you get a chance to enter the Museum.
If you arrive at the Museum on a Friday after 6 pm, you can avoid some of the waiting.
But then, you will only have two hours to explore the whole Museum.
The queue for UNIQLO Free Friday tickets begins at the Museum’s 54 Street entrance.
Apart from the Free Friday nights, Museum of Modern Art also offers free entry to children under 16.
These are ‘Skip the Line’ ticket to the Museum of Modern Art.
If you have already booked your MoMA tickets online, you can show it in your email (on your phone), and walk into the Museum right away.
With this ticket, you also get two things for free – MoMA’s audio guide and access to MoMA PS1.
Adult ticket (17 to 64 years): USD 24.50
Seniors ticket (65+ years): USD 17.50
Child ticket (0-16 years): Free entry
The best way to get a discount on your MoMa ticket is by going for one of the New York tourist Passes.
The New York Pass
Besides MoMA and MoMA PS1, this Pass also allows entry into 100 other New York attractions for free.
You also get a 10% discount at the MoMA store.
If you buy this Pass, you end up saving up to 45% on your tickets, and in most places, you get a ‘skip the line’ entry.
Some of the other top locations covered by this pass are Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, Statue of Liberty, Madame Tussaud’s etc.
The New York Explorer Pass
The Pass allows you access to multiple attractions (including MoMA) at a lower price – an estimated saving of 45% on tickets.
You can choose from four variants of the Pass – for 3, 5, 7 or 10 attractions.
FreeStyle pass New York
With the FreeStyle card, you can save up to 40% on MoMA and NYC’s top sights.
This discount card comes along with a 72-hour Hop-on Hop-off Bus ticket, which is quite popular among first-time visitors to New York.
The Sightseeing Pass
The Sightseeing Pass promise you 50% off on regular admission prices in around 90 attractions.
You can customise this pass for as many days as you want – the options being 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 days.
MoMA Exhibits – what to see?
Museum of Modern Art, New York holds some of the most famous art by artists such as Picasso, Cezanne, Dali, Gauguin, Monet, Van Gogh and more.
MoMA’s collection covers six floors. And it is quite a daunting task for a visitor to explore all of it during a single visit.
Worry not, for we present below MoMA’s highlights –
1. The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh
This painting is one of the stars of MoMA’s collection.
Van Gogh painted this from his single room in a mental asylum.
The turbulent sky in the painting is supposed to depict his internal turmoil.
He painted this scene from his East-facing window 21 times, and that’s why there are many versions of ‘Starry Night.’
2. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso
Originally named ‘Brothel of Avignon’, the paintings show five nude female prostitutes in Barcelona.
This painting didn’t create waves during Picasso’s time but is now a significant hit at MoMA.
3. Drowning Girl by Roy Lichtenstein
The painting speaks for itself and takes you back to your comic loving days.
Thick lines, bold colours and dots with speech bubble gives painting a printed look.
This painting is as modern as modern art gets.
4. Outdoor Sculpture Garden
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller designed this sculpture garden as a tribute to founders of the MoMA.
It is the perfect spot to stop for a break, even as you explore the rest of the Museum.
It holds artworks by Picasso, Anthony Caro and many others while marble slabs, fountains and flower beds etc. provide the relief.
5. The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali
This Dali painting is a classic work of Surrealism based on the theme of time.
The landscape shows melting watches, ants and fleshy object depicting decay.
6. Campbell’s soup cans by Andy Warhol
This artwork is one of the most excellent examples of Pop Art.
Warhol believed that art should be for everyone and that’s what this piece of art aims to do.
The exhibit includes images of 32 varieties of soup offered by the Campbell’s which was a must-have in all American households.
7. One, Number 31, 1950 by Jackson Pollock
The ‘drip’ technique masterpiece is one of the largest paintings made by Pollock.
The painting depicts streams of energy in tan, blue and grey lashed through black and white.
8. Dance by Henri Matisse
The painting captures joy and rhythm of dance presented by mythical dancers in a timeless landscape.
The liveliness which the painting radiates is hard to miss.
9. Gold Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol
Made in the year of Monroe’s death, the painting shows Warhol’s glamorous side.
The artwork is also an altarpiece in Andy’s Pop Art church of celebrity.
10. The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau
Henri is known as an outsider who impressed the insiders with his talent which is visible in this painting.
In the painting, a gypsy sleeps even as a lion is trying to smell her.
Henri had tried to sell this painting to the Mayor of his hometown, Laval but had failed.
11. Self-portrait with Cropped hair by Frida Kahlo
This compelling self-portrait by celebrated Mexican artist is known for its gender-bending quality.
The painting shows Frida challenging the stereotype surrounding women and at the same time filling her ex-husband’s position.
12. Grandcamp, Evening by Georges-Pierre Seurat
The artist used lots of dots of different colours to make this painting.
When viewed from a distance, the dots appear as a seamlessly blended scene.
This artwork is an example of Seurat’s expertise in the pointillism technique.
Buy one discount Pass and save up to 40% on ticket costs during your New York holiday. Buy New York Explorer Pass
MoMA audio guide
The Museum of Modern Art offers a free audio guide to all the visitors.
The audio guide is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
There are numerous tours you can choose, each following a different path within the Museum.
Some are kid-friendly while some others are for visitors with less time on their hands.
With around 100 tour options, visitors almost always end up finding what they want.
Spread over six floors and divided into various zones, the Museum of Modern Art is as intricate as the artworks it hosts.
As a first-time visitor, it is easy to get confused and lost while exploring the Museum.
There are numerous benefits of keeping a copy of the MoMA floorplan.
1. You won’t get lost
2. You can find the exhibit you want without wasting any time
3. You can find services such as restrooms, restaurants etc. easily
We recommend you either take a print out of the MoMA map given below or bookmark this page for later use.
If you take regular breaks, you can see more of MoMA.
If you want to stop for food and drinks, there are three options –
Café 2: The newly renovated cafe offers a family- friendly environment with Italian dishes, wine and beer with a casual Espresso Bar.
Terrace 5: This restaurant offers a serene environment and serves a seasonal menu with desserts and drinks
The Modern: On floor 1, this two-Michelin-starred restaurant offers lunch and Dinner that will help you end your trip on an excellent note.
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