The Museum of Modern Art reopened its doors Monday after a 2 1/2-year, $425 million renovation, showing reporters a spacious, glassed-in home nearly double its old size.
With a 110-foot atrium, higher ceilings and more natural light, the new design has thousands of square feet of additional exhibition space and a larger sculpture garden.
“We are able to see the collection in a new light,” MoMA chairman Ronald Lauder said. “Art was not meant to be seen jam-packed in a room. When you see the collection now, it glows.”
Claude Monet’s 1920 impressionist masterpiece “Water Lilies” is presented on an entire wall. Most artworks are arranged in chronological order; pop artist Andy Warhol shares one space with American photorealist painter Chuck Close.
Hundreds of reporters and photographers from around the world crowded into MoMA for the press preview. The museum opens to the public Saturday, with a day of free admission.
The six-story building, designed by Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, covers approximately 630,000 square feet and stretches over an entire block, with entrances on 53rd and 54th streets connected by a 12,400-square-foot lobby.
The renovation project is part of an $858 million capital campaign that also transformed the museum’s storage space in Queens into its temporary home during renovations. MoMA QNS closed in September.
After Saturday’s debut, general admission will be $20, with discounts for students, seniors and children under 16, as well as free admission on Friday afternoons.