How MoMA Works

A museum employee walks up a stairway framed by Andy Warhol's cow wallpaper at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. See more pictures of American landmarks.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

The Museum of Modern Art, often referred to as MoMA, is a contemporary and modern art museum in Manhattan, and was the first museum to focus solely on modern art. Since it opened in 1929, the museum has provided the general public with access to both modern and contemporary art, with a focus of educating the public and being the centerpiece for modern art throughout the world.

All museums have rare or unique works of art, tours or a peculiar history that make them famous; however, the Museum of Modern Art earned its reputation through its goal of helping people understand the visual art of their time. The MoMA incorporates works of art from architecture and design, film and video, photography, painting, sculpture, drawings, prints and illustrated books.

The permanent collection began with only eight prints and one drawing. Several decades later, it now includes more than 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs and 22,000 films [source: MoMA]. Some of these visual works of art vary as to what viewing audience they're intended for, but the museum has established many family oriented programs and exhibits that make the museum a perfect stop on a family vacation or day trip.

Museums and tours might not be a first choice for many families looking for vacation ideas, but the MoMA offers a variety of programs that will not only satisfy the educational and artistic depths for parents, but will entertain and inspire kids of all ages, too. Researchers and students alike will find one of the most expansive collections of modern and contemporary artist information at the MoMA as well. With over 300,000 books, periodicals and files, anyone interested in researching modern art will have access to information about more than 70,000 artists [source: MoMA].

Keep reading to find out more about the tours, family events and educational opportunities at the Museum of Modern Art.