Virtual Views

Surrealist Women

Explore the exhibition


Remedios Varo. The Juggler (The Magician). 1956. Oil and inlaid mother of pearl on board, 35 13/16 × 48 1/16" (91 × 122 cm). Gift of Joan H. Tisch (by exchange)

What is Surrealism? And what did it become in the hands of women artists? The Surrealist gallery is one of the most visited in the Museum. Surrealism connects our daily lives to the world of fantasy, dreams, and desire. While figures like Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, and Max Ernst are often the names that come to mind, a host of intriguing women were associated with the Surrealist movement that emerged between the World Wars, including Claude Cahun, Frida Kahlo, Dora Maar, Meret Oppenheim, and Remedios Varo. These artists both championed Surrealist ideas and pushed against them to create work in which they could explore their unconscious mind and worldly identity.

Join actor and writer Abbi Jacobson, star of Broad City and host of our A Piece of Work podcast, and Anne Umland, MoMA’s Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture, for a live Q&A on Monday, November 23, as they explore Surrealism’s creative attraction for women artists and its revolutionary potential then and now. Below, explore all of this Virtual View’s celebration of Surrealism’s cross-media experiments and collaborations: Read poems inspired by Frida Kahlo and Meret Oppenheim, play your own Surrealist game, learn how one woman helped MoMA save artist refugees during World War II, and much more.

  • This installation is part of Virtual Views.

    The conservation and presentation of the collection is made possible by Bank of America.

    Leadership contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and collection exhibitions, are generously provided by Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, the Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, The Contemporary Arts Council, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Eva and Glenn Dubin, Alice and Tom Tisch, Mimi Haas, the Noel and Harriette Levine Endowment, The David Rockefeller Council, the William Randolph Hearst Endowment Fund, the Eyal and Marilyn Ofer Family Foundation, the Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Anne Dias, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, and Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder.

    Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, the Terra Foundation for American Art, and Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro.


    If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

    MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

    If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


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