The New Moma

Its $450 million expansion completed, MOMA reopens this Fall with a new high-ceilinged space, revised approach to installation, and themed galleries replacing the previous chronological approach to telling the story of art. All the crowd-pleasing favorites – Starry Night (Van Gogh), Water Lilies (Monet), Dance (Matisse), Les Demoiselle D’Avignon (Picasso) – are still on permanent display but will move around depending on the museum’s regularly-changing curatorial themes.

At a recent opening event, visitors enjoyed the new, airier spaces and uncluttered displays. Critics have had more mixed responses. Ben Davis complains that efforts to integrated a broader range of global art movements can seem token: ‘Do an actual gallery of Japan’s Gutai movement (rather than a single drawing by Atsuko Tanaka mixed in with a bunch of other stuff), or the Bombay Progressives (rather than just that lonely Gaitonde), or Dansaekhwa,’ he writes in artnet news. Jerry Saltz on the other hand, welcomes the new approach: ‘ The new strategy allows us to go back and ask new questions of work we thought we understood,’ he argues.

Art enthusiasts now have the opportunity to make up their own minds as this most iconic of museums reopens its doors.