Virtual Views

Sculpture Garden

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The Abby Aldrich Sculpture Garden, 2014. Photo: Richard Pare. © Richard Pare

Since its opening in 1939, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden has been one of NYC’s most beloved green spaces. It was conceived as an outdoor gallery for changing installations that would bring nature, architecture, and art together in a new way. In 1953, the Sculpture Garden was redesigned by Philip Johnson, the first director of the architecture department, who imagined the space as a “roofless room,” with four distinct, marble-paved areas for displaying sculpture along with fountain pools, trees, and seasonal plantings. Across the years, the Sculpture Garden found other uses—exhibitions, performances, even protests—that reflect the Museum’s experimental nature. The current selection of works on view—Hector Guimard’s Paris Métro Station Entrance (c. 1900), Pablo Picasso’s She-Goat (1950), and Isa Genzken’s 36-foot-tall Rose II (2007), to name just a few—have become synonymous with the space and Johnson’s elegant, enduring design.

Explore the Sculpture Garden online as part of our Virtual Views series. Discover some of the wildest and most inspiring moments in the Sculpture Garden below, follow a guided meditation, learn about the birds and wildlife that call this “oasis in the city” home, see huge sculptures being installed with a crane, and more.

  • This installation is part of Virtual Views.

    The conservation and presentation of the collection is made possible by Bank of America, MoMA’s lead collection partner.

    Leadership contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and collection exhibitions, are generously provided by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Eva and Glenn Dubin, The Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, Alice and Tom Tisch, The David Rockefeller Council, The Contemporary Arts Council, Anne Dias, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, The Keith Haring Foundation, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, and Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro.

    Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, GRoW @ Annenberg, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Clarissa Alcock and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Agnes Gund, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.

    MoMA Audio is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.


    • Oasis in the City: The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at The Museum of Modern Art Hardcover, 284 pages

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