Museum off Modern Art
The Museum off Modern Art (or MoMA ) is a museum of Modern art and Contemporary art installed with New York, and opened in November 1929. Construction was mainly financed by John D. Rockefeller Jr. Today its Endowment (equipment) is approximately 1700 million dollars.
The new building, drawn to be erased by the Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, extends from now on from the 53e to the 54e Rue (between the Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue) and occupies, on six stages, an entire surface of almost: 58000 m ². The architect wanting “to bind the past to the present”, some elements, whose frontage of Philip Johnson of 1964 and garden of sculpture, were preserved and integrated in the architecture of the new building which privileges circulations. MoMA also settled in the Queens, in a place called P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, first center of American art reserved only for the contemporary art.
The sharpest discussion, which agitates MoMA since its creation in 1929, again turned around “modernity”. Charlie Finch, art critic, estimated that MoMA “was satisfied once again to be Politiquement correct”. Before adding that “the museum traditionally had ten to twenty years of delay on what is done in contemporary art”.
Historical collection and works
The collection of MoMA is rich many modern and contemporary artistic productions in fields as various as painting, the sculpture, the drawing, but also photography, the design, it video and film since MoMA started to collect its first film by creating in 1935 a library of film.
It as should be counted on the very rich documentary files, as they are the files of the exposures and activities of MoMA or the libraries specialized such as that devoted to the modern arts and contemporary latino - American.
- Claude Monet, Nymphea .
- Vincent van Gogh, the starlight night , 1889.
- Paul Cézanne, the Bath .
- Pablo Picasso, Young ladies of Avignon , 1907.
- Henri Matisse, Dance 1 , 1909.
- Jackson Pollock, Number 31 , 1950.
- Salvador Dali, the persistence of the memory , 1931.
- Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie , 1940 - 43.
- Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimis , 1950-51.
Cultural policy in the context of the cold war
Recall of the contextThe artistic situation until the end of the Second world war to the the United States was not more favorable for the artists. The movement of the abstract Expressionnisme was the object of many attacks by all the policies until the President Truman itself. That however does not seem paradoxical with the success which this movement had thereafter. Truman considered that art was not innocent but strongly impregnated of policy. And this republican president , conservative and anticommunist, was also strongly attached to traditional values in the field of arts. In Years 1950, certain representatives like deputy republican Georges Dondero, which symbolized the spearhead of an anticommunism which will open the doors of the MacCarthysme, were made the doors voice of America traditionalist and lobbyist, declaring in great effects Rhétorique S:
The Cubisme aspires to the destruction by the discordance of the drawing. The Futurisme aspires to the destruction through the myth of the machine… The Dadaïsme aspires to the destruction by the ridiculous one. Expressionnisme aspires to the destruction by singeant the primitive one and the insane…
Effects which were concluded logically on the modern artists whose history takes its source in the various accused movements:
“the ultramodern artists are unconsciously used like tools by the Kremlin.”
And, even if the artists and American intelligentsia had undergone between 1935 and 1941 a “die-marxisation”, it does not remain about it less than artists like Jackson Pollock, Motherwell or Rothko had, in the years 1930, have an artistic production and politically even committed positions for certain revolutionists. Pollock, for example, had tried out the technique of the fresco of propaganda to with dimensions of Siqueiros. This type of position could not be forgotten by the anticommunists.
To promote officially the exposures of modern art was thus not possible for the government. But the government was vis-a-vis a need: the culture and particularly the visual arts extremely represented an ideological space of fight of which did not fail to serve the Soviets. And, in spite of the dissension esthetic, but so social, which could exist between the artists of the avant-garde and the US government, the modern art for this last an ideology of freedom represented. Because of a strong interior opposition - the members of the congress would never have voted this support - the government tried to set up projects via various agencies like the USIA (United States Information Agency), but much last being cancelled because of the opposition which they met.
MoMA collaboration/the CIAIt was thus necessary to turn to organizations which would defend and would make the promotion of the avant-garde like model of American freedom. Once more, the government was very quickly addressed to independent organizations of which the CIA. It is besides there that one of the paradoxes of an art resides which is the expression of a freedom and a democracy, since the democratic process itself is cancelled by the methods installation for its promotion. And, “once more, the CIA turned to the private sector to achieve its goals. ” It turned in particular to the Museum off Modern Art of New York. Indeed, in the United States the majority of the museums and the collections of art are “private”. It was thus more interesting for the American leaders to grant a support for these museums and private foundations, these museums and foundations being already accustomed to supporting Expressionnisme Abstrait.
In MoMA, one included/understood also this patronage according to political visions. During the Second world war, John Hay Whiteney, Chairman of the board of the Museum, this one conceived as “a weapon for national defense, to educate, inspire and raise the hearts and the wills of the free man in the defense of his own freedom. ”
The implication of MoMA in the American foreign politics was important during this period. During the war, the museum had signed 38 contracts to produce cultural projects of a total of: 1590234 dollars. These various contracts had been signed with the Office off War Information, the Office off the Coordinator off Inter-American Affairs. For this last, MoMA had in particular produced “19 exposures of contemporary painting American which were shown in a large circuit in Latin America (…) ”. The international program of the MOMA produced thus, in various capitals of the world (London, Sao Paulo, Paris…), of the exposures of American contemporary art and, moreover, mainly of Abstract Expressionnisme. The museum, by thus assuming a quasi official character, assumed, in fact, the American representation there or the other nations were represented by governmental supports with the exposures. The most obvious example, is the refusal of the State Department to take the responsability for the American house during the Biennales of Venice between 1954 and 1962. The management of this national house was thus entrusted to MoMA with the money of the CIA. In 1952, MoMA organizes an international programme of world diffusion of the abstract expressionnism.
Collaboration between the two organizations was done through a system in which the CIA financed private foundations, which, in their turn, redistributed the money at institutions like MoMA, on the council of persons in charge of the CIA. For example, “with an aim of supporting the exposure the Youg Painters, of many donations were made in MoMA by the Fairfield Foundation, in particular 2000 $ given to its International Council in 1959 in order to provide modern art books to the Polish readers. ” It was established, starting from the registers of the Fairfield Foundation, that these funds came from the CIA.
Same manner in 1960, opened, with the Musée Decorative Arts of Paris, an exposure called Antagonisme. In this exposure one found, inter alia, Sam Francis, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Mark Tobey… This exposure had been orchestrated by the CIA and had been partly presented to Vienna to make counterweight with the festival of Communist youths which took place the previous year. “This exposure had cost the CIA 15 365,00 $ but for its version increased in Paris”, 10 000,00 $ of more were injected by the CIA via the Hoblitzelle Foundation.
Persons in charge of MoMARegularly after the war, from the persons in charge of the CIA or the Office of the Inter-American Businesses were transferred to the MOMA. In its book Who paid the piper? The CIA and the Farming Cold War ( Which carries out the dance? The CIA and the cultural Cold war , Denoël, 2003), Frances Stonor Saunders watch with precision how many persons in charge of the activities of MoMA and particularly of the exposures which showed the expressionnists abstracted abroad, were transfers of the various American administrations where had evolved/moved Rockefeller. William Burden had joined Rockefeller when this one was Coordinateur of the Inter-American Businesses. In 1947, it turned over to MoMA and became president of the museum in 1956.
“Under the presidency of Burden, the policy of exposure was followed by (Rene) of Harnoncourt (…) who had emigrated in the United States in 1932 and had worked, during the war, with the artistic section of the Coordinator of the Inter-American Businesses”, in fact Nelson Rockefeller. “After the war, Nelson had recruited of Harnoncourt for the museum, where he had become director in 1949. ”
“William Paley, currently with the Congress Cigar Compagny, was also another administrator (trustee) museum with close relationships in the medium of the secret services. Personal friend of Allen Dulles, Paley allowed CBS, the network which it had, to be used as cover with employees of the CIA, thanks to an arrangement similar to that authorized by Henri Luce in his Time-Life empire (Luce was also administrator of MoMA). (...) Ainsi goes the names, thus go the bonds. For example, Joseph Verner Reed was administrator of MoMA at the same time as he was administrator in Farfield Foundation. Just like Gardner Cowles. Just like Julien Fleischmann. Just like Canfield Case. Oveta Culp Hobby, one of the founding members of MoMA, sat at the office of the Committee for Free Europe, and allowed the use of its family foundation to inform the CIA. (...) Before joining the CIA, Tom (Braden) had also worked for Nelson Rockefeller as an executive secretary of the Museum of modern art between 1947 and 1949. ”
Restoration850 million dollars was gathered for the restoration of MoMA at the beginning of XXIe century: 500 million was given by the members of the board of directors on a purely philanthropic basis; 65 million was offered by the Municipalité of New York. The museum could increase: it counts today three souvenir shops and bookstores, four coffees and restaurants and can accommodate: 7000 visitors per day.
After the restoration, the import duty increased while passing to 20 dollars. However, the entry remains free at least 16 years and for the New Yorkean students. The entry is free every Friday afternoon, of 16:00 to 20:00, thanks to the support of the sponsor, the Target stores.