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What to See at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

A floor-by-floor guide to MoMA's top attractions


Visiting MOMA

Photo by Lauren M. Krauze

The MoMA is best known for its extensive collection of modern paintings, sculptures, and installations. Visit the museum and also find a vast assortment of drawings, photographs, architecture and design pieces, and theatres featuring daily film programs.

The main building is a six-floor complex featuring special exhibitions and pieces from the permanent collection. Each floor is separated into galleries and hallways, with wide entrances that allow the rooms to flow into each other. Stairs, elevators, and escalators facilitate movement from level to level.

If you are a first-time visitor to MoMA, starting from the top floor and working your way down is probably your best option. The 4th and 5th floors contain some of the museum’s most famous works.

A floor-by-floor guide to the MoMA

  • 6th floor: This expansive space is reserved for special and/or temporary exhibitions. Recently, the skylit galleries have featured works by artists Jeff Wall, Brice Marden and Edvard Munch.

  • 5th floor: The 5th floor is divided into 13 galleries displaying paintings and sculptures by world-renowned artists. Grab a bite to eat at Terrace 5, a full-service café featuring appetizer-size snacks, desserts and wine selections.

    On this floor:
    • The Starry Night, by Vincent Van Gogh

    • Water Lilies, by Claude Monet

    • The Persistence of Memory, by Salvador Dalí

    • Dance (I), by Henri Matisse

  • 4th Floor: Explore the galleries of the 4th floor and see more paintings, sculptures, and installations by famous modern artists.

    On this floor:
    • Campbell’s Soup Cans, by Andy Warhol

    • One, by Jackson Pollock

    • Map, by Jasper Johns

  • 3rd Floor: The 3rd floor holds a vast assortment of drawings, photographs, and architecture and design pieces. Also check out the floor’s special exhibitions, which explore current architecture projects and larger collections from the drawing and photography galleries.

  • 2nd Floor: The 2nd floor is home to the museum’s media and contemporary art galleries, which feature large-scale pieces and installations. Also check out the print and illustrated books section and Café 2, a cafeteria-style eatery with meal-sized pasta, chicken, and dessert dishes.

  • 1st Floor/Lobby: With ticket counters, information centers, membership services and audio equipment rentals, the first floor serves as the museum’s information hub. In nice weather, take a stroll through the Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, also located on this level. Afterwards, stop by The Modern, the MoMA’s sophisticated fine dining restaurant. A separate bar room, which serves smaller plates of The Modern’s French-American cuisine, compliments the main room, which overlooks the Sculpture Garden. Enter on 53rd Street and enjoy the restaurant beyond museum hours.
Get directions, hours and other information to plan your visit to The Museum of Modern Art.

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