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Midtown Musings: What’s New at the MoMA

One of our favorite places in all of New York City, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), is an internationally renowned temple to modern art.

Since 1939, it’s been located on 53rd between 5th and 6th Avenue (a 15-minute walk from Refinery). And this October, it emerged from a significant expansion project. In addition to adding 30,000 square feet of exhibition space, the MoMA is more accessible than ever, thanks to a reconfiguration and the addition of new multipurpose rooms, studios and galleries.

In November, the museum celebrated its 90th anniversary, proving not only its timelessness but also its ability to adapt, expand and grow. Sure, you can still find works by Van Gogh and Henri Matisse, among other art world icons. But never before has the MoMa been so diverse, intrepid or inclusive. Now, you’ll find “22 Instructions for Paintings” by Yoko Ono and Ian Cheng’s “Emissaries” alongside Picassos and Pollocks.  

Visiting the MoMA can easily be a day-long activity. After perusing the galleries, check out the MoMA Design Store, which became a double-height space during the expansion. The collections are always changing, but we’re currently in love with the Kusama pumpkin snow globe and the set of skate decks sporting Andy Warhol’s colorful soup cans. Later, grab dinner at The Modern, which overlooks the sculpture garden. Prepare for a six-course affair, or opt for a la carte dining at The Bar Room. 

Whether it’s your first time visiting the MoMA or you’re a regular returning to the newly-reopened museum, here’s what’s new at the MoMA in 2020.

God in Three Persons

Three times in January, visitors can catch a live performance of the album “God in Three Persons” — a multimedia masterpiece crafted by The Residents in 1988. The art collective tells the story of a “ruined evangelist” who is obsessed with conjoined twins he believes can work miracles. See it on Jan. 24, or catch one of two performances on Jan. 25. Tickets go on sale on Jan. 1.

Modern Matinees: Jack Lemmon

Comedian and actor Jack Lemmon is celebrated during a nearly two-month-long series of matinee screenings, part of the MoMA’s ongoing program. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, see Lemmon’s most unforgettable roles in films such as “The Great Race,” “The Odd Couple” and “Phffft!”


We can’t wait for March 1, when approximately 60 of Donald Judd’s paintings, drawings, furniture, and striking sculptures (including those colorful arrangements of boxes and block-like creations). You have until July 11 to see the first retrospective of Judd’s works in more than 30 years. 

To Save and Project

You have just about two weeks to catch the MoMA’s first program featuring restorced films recovered from archives, studios, and other sources around the world. Starting on Jan. 9, you can see two silent films that have emerged brilliantly from the museum’s personal archives: “Isn’t Life Wonderful” and “Carmen” from 1924 and 1927, respectively. 

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