George Howe, William Lescaze

The Museum of Modern Art, Scheme 4, First Variation


Not on view
Wood, plastic and metal
33 x 12 x 16 3/4" (83.8 x 30.5 x 42.5 cm)
Gift of Della Rothermel in honor of John Petrik Rothermel
Object number
Architecture and Design
This work is not on view.
George Howe has 1 work online.
William Lescaze has 4 works online.
There are 2,430 architecture works online.

In 1930, Howe and Lescaze were invited to speculate on the ideal configuration of a new building for The Museum of Modern Art. They generated several schemes, finding different ways to bring light into the galleries. This solution, the fourth and most experimental, separates the galleries into independent horizontal blocks, stacked above one another at right angles. Two sets of columns, tied by beams at each gallery level, support this configuration. Within each gallery, daylight and artificial light are combined in an adaptable lightmixing chamber placed just above the ceiling, which acts as a diffusing scrim. The chambers, visible at the roofline of each gallery unit, are glazed to admit daylight. The opaque external walls of the galleries are clad in marble or white glazed brick. While there are no conventional windows in the galleries, views to the outside are provided in the separate glass-enclosed support tower for stairs and elevators. Ultimately, the Museum chose to build a less radical proposal by Philip L. Goodwin and Edward Durrell Stone.

Gallery label from 75 Years of Architecture at MoMA, 2007

Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053;; Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124;;

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information, or have spotted an error, please send feedback to