µ Year in Review 2015–2016

Year in Review

12 months of
extraordinary art
and experiences

See our stories

Picasso Sculpture explored a rarely seen and deeply personal side of the artist's work

Designing the Picasso Sculpture installation with curators Ann Temkin and Anne Umland was like planning a grand party to reunite Picasso's old friends. They were coming long distances from all over the globe, so we wanted to make sure they all felt completely at home and could truly be themselves.

Lana Hum
Director, Exhibition Design and Production

Bouchra Khalili’s entire eight-video work The Mapping Journey Project (2008–11) was shown in the Marron Atrium

The migration crisis is discussed every single day in the media, but humanitarian comments aren't enough to make an issue visible. What should be visible is the perspective of the individuals experiencing this crisis. I don't see myself as someone proposing something complete, but rather asking a question to an audience, inviting an audience to reflect, and encouraging a dialogue in a public space.

Bouchra Khalili, artist

Open Art Space drop-in program for LGBTQ teens

This is a place that reminds you that you can make your own path.

Everyone is very welcoming and so you chill out because of all the positive vibes.

Coming in each time it's like a community because it's a safe place.

Open Art Space teens

The New York premiere of Lynette Wallworth’s virtual reality experience Collisions (2015)

Collisions marked MoMA's first virtual reality screening, which was an incredibly exciting moment for our team. Learning how best to present this new format to our audience was challenging, and ultimately incredibly rewarding.

Lizzie Gorfaine
Performance Producer, Exhibition Planning and Administration

Dancers performing Maria Hassabi’s live installation PLASTIC (2015)

As a security guard and a performance artist myself, it was amazing to see visitors completely fascinated, with some watching for two hours or more. It was the perfect marriage of living art and physical endurance, and really brought the Museum spaces to life.

Brian Wilson, Security Guard

The fourth edition of the landmark exhibition series Greater New York at MoMA PS1, with over 400 works by 158 artists

When we started working on the show, we asked ourselves what had changed in the five years since the previous Greater New York. One noticeable thing was the degree of heightened nostalgia for the 1970s and 80's. So we tried to examine that nostalgia against our desire for the new, and expand the kinds of stories that might reach different sorts of audiences, featuring works that represent the city's inhabitants, or those foregrounding New York itself.

Peter Eleey
Chief Curator, MoMA PS1

Our popular, free online course Seeing Through Photographs gives learners an up-close look at MoMA’s collection

Not only was this course educational, it served to jump-start something inside me that made me want to get my camera out and try photography again as a way of coping with my life and expressing myself. That's priceless to me. So thank you.

Shanna, Coursera learner

The cross-departmental reinstallation of the fourth-floor galleries with works from the 1960s

As much as it was a time of political, social, and cultural upheaval, the 1960s were also very much about "making the scene," which is why it’s so fitting that the E-type Jaguar is the first thing you see smack dab in the middle of a gallery full of works from the grooviest decade.

Pamela Popeson
Preparator, Department of Architecture and Design

The Design Interactions Studio, with artist- and designers-led workshops, conversations, and “social hours”

I was really impressed. I don't know what I was expecting before attending the workshop but this was really interesting. I had seen the littleBits at the MoMA Store but I didn't realize about its practical uses. My six-year-old daughter also found it exciting and I was glad I was able to expose her to things that are also new to me.

Design Interactions Studio participant

The NYC Department of Education Chancellor’s annual celebration for arts in the schools

Teaching is one of the most creative professions, and we celebrate those who, day in and day out, support art within our schools. We want everyone to feel welcome and come back to the Museum again and again to find inspiration and to nurture their teaching process.

Wendy Woon
The Edward John Noble Foundation Deputy Director for Education

Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty inspired a new children’s book and a special event for families with New York City Ballet dancer Dana Jacobson

The most exciting part of this event for me was not just sharing What Degas Saw, but asking the kids who attended: what do you see?

Samantha Friedman
Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints

A daylong live stream followed the activites of a honeybee colony in Pierre Huyghe’s sculpture Untilled (Liegender Frauenakt) (2012)

Working with the artist, curators, art handlers, security, local beekeeper Andrew Coté, and a colony of honeybees to present Pierre Huyghe's Untilled was a fun and collaborative challenge and it was a joy to observe visitors' delight with the living installation.

Margaret Ewing
Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture

The Department of Film celebrated its 80th anniversary and our Film Benefit honored Cate Blanchett

The Museum of Modern Art has for so long, over so many years—as a citizen and, dare I say, as an artist—been such an incredible place of restoration and inspiration for me. So to be standing here being honored by them in this way is an honor indeed.

Cate Blanchett
2015 Film Benefit honoree

The first New York retrospective of Marcel Broodthaers's witty and influential artwork

Broodthaers had a profound interest in the relationship between image and language, and our exhibition identity borrowed some of his graphic devices. We layered iconic artworks above the messaging, challenging the expected clarity of advertisements, while exploiting the object-centric qualities of these works.

Damien Saatdjian
Senior Graphic Designer

We welcomed many new Artist Members to our first evening open house

I thought the evening was splendid…so calm and attentive—made a huge difference to seeing the work…. I approached a museum guard and commented that there was an unusually good vibe about the galleries…he grinned from ear to ear saying, “The artists are here, it’s wonderful!”

Ken Wade, Artist Member

Designers, curators, critics, activists, and entrepreneurs presented 26 iconic garments, accessories, and issues from the fashion universe for the Items Abecedarium

To launch the fall 2017 exhibition Items: Is Fashion Modern? we hosted a two-day bash that gathered almost 40 speakers to discuss 26 of those items, from Air Jordans to the zipper, from the Little Black Dress to the keffiyeh, an ABC from diverse perspectives, geographies, fields of expertise. It was thrilling in terms of the research it produced, moving, memorable, fun. It was a high point of our year.

Paola Antonelli
Senior Curator, Department of Architecture and Design

COSMO (2015) by Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation installed in the MoMA PS1 courtyard

At this moment that we are defining and redefining the way we relate to water in a scenario of water scarcity, there’s a great opportunity to rethink infrastructures, to transform the way we relate to water.

Andrés Jaque
Office for Political Innovation

Teiji Furuhashi’s immersive, room-sized multimedia installation Lovers (1994)

In a completely unprecedented conservation effort, we breathed new life into Teiji Furuhashi's Lovers, replacing MS-DOS and LaserDiscs with Arduino and Open Source Software, allowing this important artwork to be shown for the first time since 1995 and ensuring it will live on for years to come.

Ben Fino-Radin
Associate Media Conservator

Clorindo Testa’s Habitar, Circular, Trabajar, Recrearse (1974)

This notable work by architect Clorindo Testa, now recognized as one of the greatest figures of Argentinian modernism, presents a critique of urban planning in a format that is evocative of the modernist muralist tradition. The stunning presentation manages to convey both the claustrophobic intimacy and the overwhelming sprawl that was the plight of the city dweller in Buenos Aires in 1974. The acquisition continues our focus on Latin American modern and contemporary architecture.

Martino Stierli
The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design

Robert Frank’s Me and My Brother (1965–68)

The Museum of Modern Art’s relationship with Robert Frank goes back more than a half century, and, following the artist’s major gift of all his unique film materials to the collection, MoMA is now restoring his work. Me and My Brother (1965–68), Frank's first feature, is at once an important documentary record of bohemian artist life in 1950s and 1960s New York and a tender portrait of friends and family, a direct antecedent to deeply personal, intimate photographic projects.

Rajendra Roy
The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film

Faith Ringgold’s American People Series #20: Die (1967)

Faith Ringgold's American People Series #20: Die is an astonishing painting, as its ability to rivet the attention of passersby remains undiminished 50 years after its making. At once exuberant and horrifying, its formal, psychological, and sociohistorical complexities invite and sustain deep looking and thinking.

Ann Temkin
The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture
  • Harry Callahan. Chicago. c. 1952

  • Jan Groover. Untitled. 1983

  • Charles Harry Jones. Peapods. c. 1900

  • Germaine Krull. Le Metal Inspirateur d' Art (Metal Inspiration of Art). 1930

  • Aaron Siskind. Jalapa 30 (Homage to Franz Kline). 1973

  • Val Telberg. Exhibition of the Witch. c. 1948

  • Weegee (Arthur Fellig). The Gay Deceiver. c. 1939

A promised gift of 162 works from Trustee Robert B. Menschel’s collection of photographs

This outstanding group of images covers more than 150 years of photography, from iconic works to small gems by less-well-known photographers. The collection exemplifies Bob Menschel's multifaceted interests as a collector and his deep curiosity about photography. Now, these works join the hundreds of others that, thanks to Bob's support, the Museum has been able to acquire since he joined the Photography Committee in 1977.

Quentin Bajac
The Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography

Kara Walker’s 40 Acres of Mules (2015)

40 Acres of Mules was inspired by Kara Walker’s visit to Stone Mountain, the site of the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan, which features a gigantic bas-relief conceived as an ignominious tribute to Civil War Confederate leaders. This powerful triptych reveals a new ambition in the scale and intensity of the artist’s drawing practice, while prompting uncomfortable questions about race, gender, and power in today’s society.

Christophe Cherix
The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings and Prints

Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions (1961)

Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions mark a watershed moment when relationships between bodies and objects, movement and sculpture, were being fundamentally rethought. Bringing this groundbreaking body of work—namely the instructions, rights, plus archival and related materials needed to perform the dances—into MoMA’s collection enriches our holdings with a radically innovative work and marks an important example of acquiring, preserving, and displaying performance art.

Stuart Comer
Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art

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Image credits

All works in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art and © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art, unless otherwise noted