Global Research at MoMA: Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives (C-MAP)

Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives (C-MAP) is MoMA’s internal research and exchange initiative devoted to art in a global context. Launched in 2009, C-MAP emerges from a long history of international relationships at MoMA and examines artistic modernism beyond the frameworks provided by Western European and North American avant-gardes. To this end, C-MAP gathers accounts and establishes connections with histories, individuals, and institutions that have often been little-known outside their countries of origin.

Structure of C-MAP

C-MAP is divided into three groups that each focus on a geographic region with a strong history of modernism. The current areas of focus are Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America. The groups are composed of members of MoMA’s curatorial, education, and publications departments, as well as the Museum Library and Archives. Under the direction of a curator who serves as group leader, and in consultation with a fellow, each group invites visiting scholars, curators, and artists to lead workshops at the Museum on their work and areas of expertise. In addition, group members travel together to deepen their understanding of the specificities and histories of the places they are studying.

Three distinguished scholars serve as counselors for the initiative: Mieke Bal, Professor of Humanities, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Universiteit van Amsterdam; Homi Bhabha, Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University; and David Joselit, Distinguished Professor, The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Online publication: post

post: notes on modern and contemporary art around the globe provides a site for sharing MoMA’s global research on modern and contemporary art with a broader public. Inspired by the international mail system and by online messaging platforms, post is a research resource that invites discussion about the commonalities and differences in art practices across disparate geographies.


C-MAP groups have invited domestic and international scholars and artists from around the world to the Museum and have taken numerous trips to their regions of focus. These research activities have contributed significantly to a greater geographical diversity in the Museum’s exhibition and acquisition programs.

Asia Group

The Asia Group has addressed art across this continent, with particular concentrations on Japan, China, and, currently, India. The group began with a focus on various manifestations of performativity in Japan in the 1950s and 1960s, which was occasioned by the exhibition Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde (November 18, 2012–February 25, 2013) and the International Program's sourcebook, From Postwar to Postmodern, Art in Japan 1945–1989: Primary Documents (2013).

Central and Eastern Europe Group

The Central and Eastern Europe Group pursues research relating to artists, events, and publications from Central and Eastern Europe. It is currently focusing its research on Russia and commencing a long-term partnership with the Muzeum Sztuki in Łodz, Poland—a museum that, like MoMA, was founded in 1929. The group began with a focus on the international Fluxus network, inspired by MoMA's 2009 receipt of the Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift, which comprises approximately 8,000 objects in various mediums by artists active in the 1960s and 1970s.

Latin America Group

The Latin America Group examines local hubs of activity with the intention of tracing connections, collaborations, and networks across borders in the region. Following an initial focus on Brazilian modern art, with the aim of better understanding the Museum’s holdings of these works, the group has since broadened its geographic scope to other countries, particularly Mexico, Peru, and Chile.

C-MAP Seminars

The C-MAP research groups host an annual seminar, which enables members to think more deeply about how the Museum might best address a global view of modern and contemporary art. Past seminars have been organized around the topics of multiple modernities, international networks, global collecting practices, and challenges of museum display.