The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York

In the late 1920s, a small group of enterprising patrons of the arts joined forces to create a new museum devoted exclusively to modern art. Establishing a dedicated board of trustees and recruiting the pioneering young scholar Alfred H. Barr, Jr., as founding director, the group created The Museum of Modern Art in 1929. The inaugural exhibition at the Museum featured the work of Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat, and Van Gogh, four of the most celebrated European Post-Impressionist painters. It was met with great enthusiasm: although each artist’s brilliance was well established, it was still rare at the time to see their work exhibited in New York. The exhibition helped to define the Museum’s significant ambitions at its founding as one of first museums of modern and contemporary art in the country.

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