Much modern painting is made on a grand scale, but the works in this gallery are intimate in size and character. Spanning the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they range from portraits of the artists and their friends; to depictions of interior environments infused with lush patterns; to colorful landscapes that reflect each artist’s unique personal vision. Though diverse in subject matter, these paintings, with their modest proportions, all encourage close looking, inviting the viewer to enjoy a moment of private contemplation.
The artworks in this room are from the collection of William S. Paley, the founder of the radio and television network CBS. Mr. Paley devoted more than fifty years to The Museum of Modern Art. He served as a trustee beginning in 1937, only eight years after MoMA was founded, and later as chairman and chairman emeritus of the Board, from 1982 until his death in 1990.