A scene from season two of At the Museum

Episode One: “The Future, the Unknown”

The season two premiere takes you behind the scenes as we prepare for a new MoMA.
Sean Yetter September 13, 2019

In the first moments of our second season of At the Museum, art handlers carefully remove some of MoMA’s most well-known works from its gallery walls. For most viewers, it’s jarring to see timeless works displaced from their usual homes. For MoMA’s staff, it’s a reminder of the enormous responsibilities involved in reimagining and rearranging the collection.

This October, MoMA will reopen its doors to reveal a major expansion. This pivotal time in the Museum’s history involved months of preparation, countless hours of physical labor, and critical reevaluation of the narratives MoMA represents. The video team for At the Museum was there to capture it all, in a rare look at what it takes to open a new Museum.

Expanding on the vision of season one, the series offers a glimpse of the run-up to our temporary closure and behind-the-scenes looks at installation, conservation projects, and more. Episode one takes the viewer back to February 2019; the table of contents below outlines what you can expect to see.

We’ve taken a fly-on-the wall, observational approach in making this. You’ll catch on as you watch. But if you would like to see the names of speakers, titles of artworks, and running dialogue, turn on closed captioning by pressing the “cc” button at the bottom right corner of the video.

Episodes will be released weekly; be sure to check in next week for episode two. If you’d like to see more At the Museum, watch season one.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1:06 - Senior receptionist Rachel Klein fields questions from the public.

1:35 - Conservators Megan Randall and Caitlin Richeson dust David Hammons’s Untitled (Night Train) and Alexander Calder’s Gibraltar before the public arrives for the day.

2:40 - Chief curators Ann Temkin and Christophe Cherix discuss the philosophy guiding how the Museum will present its collection after reopening in October 2019.

3:34 - Conservator Lynda Zycherman and artist Betye Saar examine Black Girl’s Window. Curator Christophe Cherix joins, as Saar outlines her thinking behind the work.

5:08 - Security supervisor Chet Gold reveals his thoughts on David Hammons and the challenges of protecting his work in the gallery.

6:25 - The team from Budco, riggers and steel erectors, maneuvers Richard Serra’s Equal into the building.

7:57 - Director of exhibition design and production Lana Hum details the logistics for installing Equal.

8:16 - Artist Richard Serra congratulates the Budco team on a successful installation.

8:36 - Curator and director of the opening of the new Museum Sarah Suzuki briefs a team of curators and conservators before they enter the construction site.

9:07 - Ann Temkin and curator Anne Umland share a moment in front of Equal.

The eight-episode video series At the Museum offers a behind-the-scenes, cross-departmental view of MoMA’s staff preparing for the Museum’s reopening in October. Watch other episodes from Season 2 here.