MoMA Painting & Sculpture Department

MoMA Painting & Sculpture Department

Step back in time to 1929, when the MoMA Painting and Sculpture collection unveiled its first-ever painting to the world. A selection of coveted artworks by the likes of Gauguin, Van Gogh, Seurat, and Cezanne were loaned and exhibited, leaving visitors in awe of the artistry and vision of these masterful creators.

Fast forward to 1985, when the MoMA Painting and Sculpture Department was officially established, with a mission to preserve and celebrate the most groundbreaking and innovative artworks of all time. Today, with a collection of approximately 3,600 pieces, this department holds the title of the world's largest collection of sculptures and modern paintings.

From the majestic strokes of Cezanne's The Bather to the dreamy swirls of Van Gogh's The Starry Night, the MoMA Painting and Sculpture department offers an inclusive range of works that span across different eras and genres, from the 19th century to the present day. In other words, this department is a treasure trove for anyone who appreciates the beauty and significance of art in all its forms.

MoMA Departments

  • Get ready to be mesmerized by the extensive art collection at the NYC MoMA Museum, which houses thousands of artworks!
  • Explore the museum's different departments, each with its own unique focus and specialty.
  • Marvel at the impressive architectural designs and building models managed by the Architecture and Design department.
  • Admire the paintings and sculptures from various years and artists that the Painting and Sculpture department curates.
  • Discover a treasure trove of paper drawings and prints, including illustrated books, collages, watercolors, and charcoal drawings at the Drawing and Prints department.
  • Immerse yourself in the world of time-based art, expertly managed by the Media and Performance department.
  • Lose yourself in the magic of films and film stills at the Film department.
  • Finally, soak up the beauty of modern and contemporary photographs in the Photography department.
  • So, what are you waiting for? Plan your visit to the NYC MoMA Museum now, and get ready to experience the art world like never before!

Read More: MoMA Collections 

MoMA Painting & Sculpture Highlights

  • Behold some of the most celebrated works of art at the MoMA Painting and Sculpture department.
  • Get lost in the mesmerizing strokes of Paul Cézanne's The Bather, painted between 1885 and 1887, and admire the artist's masterful use of color and light.
  • Be transported to a starry night sky in Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, created in 1889, and witness the artist's unique perspective and creativity.
  • Explore the picturesque beauty of Vincent van Gogh's The Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background, another striking masterpiece from 1889, that captures the essence of nature in all its glory.
  • Experience the surreal world of Henri Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy, painted in 1897, and marvel at the artist's vivid imagination and attention to detail.
  • Feel the energy and rhythm of Henri Matisse's The Dance I, a dynamic and colorful representation of dance from 1909, that captures the essence of movement and joy.
  • Finally, immerse yourself in the dreamlike quality of Henri Rousseau's The Dream, painted in 1910, and let your imagination take flight as you explore this enchanting masterpiece.

Check Out: MoMA Drawing and Prints 

  • Feast your eyes on some of the most iconic works of modern art at the MoMA Painting and Sculpture department.
  • Step into Henri Matisse's vibrant world in L'Atelier Rouge, a stunning masterpiece from 1911 that captures the essence of color and light.
  • Discover the whimsical and dreamlike world of Marc Chagall's I and the Village, painted in 1911, which depicts a village scene in the artist's unique style.
  • See Paris in a different light in Henri Matisse's View of Notre-Dame, created in 1914, and admire the artist's skillful use of color and composition.
  • Explore the enigmatic world of Giorgio de Chirico's Love Song, painted in 1914, which offers a surreal and mysterious glimpse into the artist's mind.
  • Experience the bold and revolutionary style of Kazimir Malevich in Suprematist Composition: White on White, a striking work from 1918 that challenges traditional notions of art.
  • Finally, get lost in the dynamic and rhythmic patterns of Piet Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie, a masterpiece from 1942-1943 that captures the vibrant energy of New York City.

Click Here: Plan Your Visit to MoMA NYC

Joseph and Sylvia Slifka Painting and Sculpture Study Center

If you're a fan of MoMA's paintings and sculptures, you won't want to miss the Joseph and Sylvia Slifka Painting and Sculpture Study Center. This center is a treasure trove of information, with detailed files on over 3,400 artworks in MoMA's collection. From photographs and press clippings to label texts and correspondence, you can find it all here.

To access the study center's files, simply make an appointment for Wednesday or Thursday between 11 AM and 5 PM. Once you're there, you'll be able to delve into the world of MoMA's paintings and sculptures like never before. So why not book your appointment today and unlock the secrets of these stunning works of art?

Read More: About MoMA 

Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art

The MoMA Museum, established in 1929, has always been committed to collecting and showcasing modern and contemporary art. In 2015, the museum published a book entitled "Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art" as a tribute to the continually evolving collection of artwork in New York City's MoMA. This publication features an impressive array of artworks, both renowned and lesser-known, that can be found within the museum. Ann Temkin, the Chief Curator of the MoMA Painting and Sculpture department, provides an introduction to the book, detailing the meticulous process behind selecting the works featured in the publication. It's important to note that these works make up only 5 percent of the MoMA Painting and Sculpture collection.

Check Out: MoMA Architecture and Design


When was the first painting from the MoMA Painting & Sculpture Department exhibited?

The first painting exhibited by the MoMA Painting & Sculpture Department was on November 7, 1929. The work was "The Bathers" by French artist Paul Cézanne, and it was part of the museum's inaugural exhibition in New York City.

When was the MoMA Painting and Sculpture Department established?

The MoMA Painting and Sculpture Department was established in 1930, one year after the museum's opening. Its creation marked a significant moment in the history of modern art, as the department became a pioneer in the collection and display of contemporary works.

How many works of art does the MoMA Painting and Sculpture Department hold?

The MoMA Painting and Sculpture Department holds around 13,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. Its collection features a diverse range of modern and contemporary art from around the world, spanning from the late 19th century to the present day.

How old is the Painting and Sculpture Department's collection?

The Painting and Sculpture Department's collection at MoMA ranges in age from the late 19th century to the present day. Some of the oldest works in the collection date back to the 1880s, while the most recent acquisitions reflect contemporary artistic practices.

Can I touch the artwork in the Painting and Sculpture Department?

No, touching the artwork in the Painting and Sculpture Department at MoMA is strictly prohibited. Doing so could damage the fragile and valuable pieces, and may result in ejection from the museum.


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