Founded in 1929 as an educational institution, The Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world.
Through the leadership of its Trustees and staff, The Museum of Modern Art manifests this commitment by establishing, preserving, and documenting a collection of the highest order that reflects the vitality, complexity and unfolding patterns of modern and contemporary art; by presenting exhibitions and educational programs of unparalleled significance; by sustaining a library, archives, and conservation laboratory that are recognized as international centers of research; and by supporting scholarship and publications of preeminent intellectual merit.
Great art museums not only contain exemplary works of art, they are also places where—in a single visit—surprise, learning, and reflection come together in a liberating set of experiences. They link contemplation and conversation, quiet and excitement. This is especially true for museums of modern and contemporary art that embrace today’s most daring artists while also providing contexts for understanding and enjoying this art. As The Museum of Modern Art looks to the future, it is committed to these dual responsibilities and to expanding and enhancing its galleries to better bring art and people together. Our goal is to provide visitors with the pleasure of finding their own meaning within a singularly inclusive constellation of 20th- and 21st-century artistic practices.
From an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing, The Museum of Modern Art’s collection has grown to include 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects. MoMA also owns some 22,000 films, videos, and media works, as well as film stills, scripts, posters and historical documents. The Museum’s Library contains 300,000 books, artist books, and periodicals, and the Museum Archives holds approximately 2,500 linear feet of historical documentation and a photographic archive of tens of thousands of photographs, including installation views of exhibitions and images of the Museum’s building and grounds.
Central to The Museum of Modern Art’s mission is the encouragement of an ever-deeper understanding and enjoyment of modern and contemporary art by the diverse local, national, and international audiences that it serves.