Thursday, November 7, 2013

November 7 - Museum of Modern Art

On November 7, 1929, nine days after the Stock Market Crash, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) opened at its first location in rented space at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in New York. It was the brainchild of three progressive art patrons: Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of multimillionaire John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and two of her friends, Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan. Known as "the Ladies," they wanted to counterbalance the prevailing conservatism of traditional museums and promote modern art. Mrs. Rockefeller began amassing her own collection between 1925 and 1935, largely works on paper, focusing on living American artists. Because her husband was opposed to the museum – and modern art – he would not fund the venture, so MoMA moved into three other temporary spaces in the next 10 years. But in 1936, Rockefeller donated the land for its current site on 53rd Street. Its distinctive “International Style” building opened in 1939 (renovated in 2002-2004). Pictured: MoMA’s renowned “Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond,” Claude Monet (c. 1920).

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