MoMA PS1 (formerly P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center), which celebrated its thirtieth year in 2006, is one of the world's oldest and largest organizations devoted solely to the advancement of contemporary art. Housed in a hundred-year-old Romanesque Revival school building in Long Island City, Queens, MoMA PS1 presents an extensive program of exhibitions and events in its nearly 125,000-square-foot facility. MoMA PS1 distinguishes itself from other major art institutions in its progressive approach to exhibitions and its involvement of artists within the museum's framework. In October 1997, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center reopened to the public after a three-year renovation project designed by Los Angeles-based architect Frederick Fisher. The building's facilities were expanded to include a large outdoor gallery, a dramatic entryway, and a two-story project space. Since its inception, MoMA PS1 has exhibited the work of more than 2,000 artists and has mounted some of the most provocative visual arts exhibitions of the last quarter century.
In bringing together artists and their audience, MoMA PS1 functions as a living and active meeting place for the general public. Its Education Department offers a lively series of programs for adults and young people. These programs, ranging from daily gallery talks to salon-style conversations among artists, writers, and scholars actively involved in contemporary art, build on the museum’s commitment to be both an accessible resource to a diverse audience and a catalyst for new ideas and art practices. Tours guided by scholars and artists introduce adults and school groups to cutting-edge contemporary art through interactive discussions of the themes, techniques, and imagery of the art on view, as well as the personal perspective of lecturing artists. An internship program provides graduate and undergraduate students with valuable exposure to the inner-workings of a busy arts institution, as well as a prolonged involvement with the art of current and upcoming exhibitions. In the past, the Department has also organized community outreach programs, a National and International Studio Program for promising young artists, and a teen curator series.
The principal objective of MoMA's partnership with MoMA PS1 is to promote the enjoyment, appreciation, study, and understanding of contemporary art to a wide and growing audience. Collaborative programs of exhibitions, educational activities, and special projects allow both institutions to draw on their respective strengths and resources and to continue shaping a cultural discourse. The first significant collaboration between MoMA PS1 and The Museum of Modern Art took place in 2000 with Greater New York, a widely acclaimed exhibition showcasing the work of more than 140 emerging New York-area artists. This ambitious effort was successfully repeated five years later with Greater New York 2005. Both shows demonstrated the diversity and dynamism of the metropolitan area’s artistic community. An ongoing collaboration is the MoMA/MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, an annual series of competitions that give emerging architects the opportunity to build projects for the MoMA PS1 facility from conception drawing to construction.