Anny Aviram in the Painting and Sculpture Conservation Lab, 2019. Photo: Rosalind Fox Solomon

Picturing MoMA: Rosalind Fox Solomon

The artist gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the Museum and its journey to reopening.

As we prepare for the opening of a new MoMA in October, we invited artists Rosalind Fox Solomon and Sara Cwynar to capture this moment through their eyes. Solomon has been photographing people who work at the Museum with her medium-format Hasselblad camera, which she has been using since 1976. As she recently explained:

“I never know exactly what I have done until I see my contact sheets. Along the way, I am learning about the workers who make everything possible. My intention is to photograph their diversity and to acknowledge those who are responsible for the expansion—the guardians of art who provide security for the masterpieces that the public is privileged to view; the conservators who preserve the Picassos, Chagalls, and Rodins and manage to keep them in their original condition; the videographers, designers, and press; some of the curators who conceive and create exhibitions; and the patrons, who help to make possible what has been envisioned.”

Channeling her curiosity, she ventured through the hidden hallways, warehouses, and labs that help MoMA run to tell a story about a pivotal moment in the institution’s history. New images will be published biweekly.

I’m interested in the psychology of people. I use my intuition to try to understand something about what their lives may be.
Rosalind Fox Solomon

Anny Aviram
Senior Conservator, The David Booth Conservation Center

“Now that we’re closed for the summer, we can finally do so many of the conservation treatments we’ve wanted to do—on works by lesser-known artists like Séraphine Louis (her Tree of Paradise [1928] is on the left), and on more well-known works like the earliest painting in the Museum's collection, Cézanne's The Bather (1888–90), shown in the middle. Like the Cézanne, Chagall’s I and the Village (1911), to the right, is almost always on view. They’ll both look their best for our visitors when they go back on view in October at our reopening.”

To find out more about Solomon and Cwynar’s work and projects for MoMA, read an interview with the artists.