10 Tips for Visiting the MoMA

Right across the street from the Baccarat Hotel New York stands one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world: the MoMA. The Museum of Modern Art, founded primarily by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller in 1929, is an architectural marvel in itself — the perfect showcase for its extensive collection and exhibits ranging from Picasso and Matisse paintings to design famous bottle openers and electronic media. If you are looking for a quiet tour, or coming with the kids, the Hosts at Baccarat New York offer up tips on how to best enjoy your visit to MoMA. 

Claude Monet - Water Lilies.

1) BRUSH UP ON WHAT MODERN ART ENTAILS
Before you set out to explore, let’s first concentrate on what, exactly, modern art entails. Late 19th-century artists broke tradition to create art for the modern age. At this time, art moved from being commissioned to being experimental.

What was considered “modern” is now part of the classics. From the earliest “moderns” such as Monet, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and Matisse, to more recent modernists such as Pollock, Warhol, or Lichtenstein, the permanent collections mix with temporary exhibits to encourage a deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art. Since its inception, the museum has had a large vision of “art” and its collection encompasses paintings, electronic media, prints, film, sculpture, photography, and design objects.

Jackson Pollock - One: Number 31

2) BECOME A MOMA MEMBER
It’s worth checking out the membership program at MoMa, which gives you pre-hours access to the museum from 9:30am to 10:30am and includes invitation to a preview of each major exhibit. The museum is open daily (except on Christmas and Thanksgiving). On Fridays the museum is open until 8pm as part of Uniqlo Free Fridays, becoming very crowded after about 4pm.

3) GO HANDS-FREE
The MoMA consists of six floors of exhibits, meaning you’ll likely be walking quite a bit. For ultimate enjoyment, visit as if it were your private collection, leaving everything at the coat check or in your room at The Baccarat Hotel across the street.

4) EXPLORE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM
You’ve likely come across this tip before, but as with many of the other museums in New York, the best advice is to take the elevator to the top and tour the galleries on your way down. You finish downstairs on time for a movie.

Charles Eames, Ray Eames - Eames House, Los Angeles, California

5) RELAX AND ENJOY!
Despite its impressive size, the museum offers many relaxing options, from the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden to its restaurant, The Modern. For a lighter fare, the Afternoon Tea in the Baccarat Hotel Grand Salon is just across the street offering a quiet break when you need a rest.

Aristide Maillo. The River.

6) BE IN THE KNOW
Be sure to peruse MoMA learning before your visit — a great tool in helping you prepare for what you’re about to see and experience. Combine your reading and listening with the MoMA app and enjoy your visit in a totally different way.

7) GIVE THE KIDS A CLOSER LOOK
The museum offers so many mediums, it’s perfect for kids of all ages. The family program offers lively discussions and fun activities involving movement, drawing, and other gallery activities that give everyone the chance to participate. Sign language interpretation can be scheduled as well. Get them excited by downloading the ArtLab iPad app, letting them explore their creative side. When on site, enjoy the workshop and leave with a piece of art.

Arthur Young - Bell-41d1 Helicopter

8) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF INTERACTIVE SESSIONS
The MoMA offers interactive sessions beyond a simple tour of the museum. From a Studio Session to a Gallery session, don’t miss out on your chance to get a unique perspective on the art in the gallery through creative exploratory experiences.

9) DO A LITTLE SHOPPING
From books to reproductions and so much more, the museum shop at MoMA offers the opportunity to take a little bit of the magic home. Take a stroll through the museum location on the second floor, or visit their Spring Street location for more. 

10) DON’T MISS THE OTHER MOMA
The MoMA also manages the MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens. An exhibition space rather than a collecting institution, MoMA PS1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world. It still has permanent pieces such as James Turrell’s onsite installation, “Meeting.”

James Turrell’s installation“Meeting”