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7 MoMA Paintings and Artwork You Must See

August 11, 2022 By CityPASS

Visiting New York City is a thrilling experience like no other, as there's simply not another city that is as largely diverse and passionately visionary as the Big Apple. When determining what you want to do and see on your visit, be sure to take in that passion and creativity through one of the city's most awe-inspiring attractions: the Museum of Modern Art.

Undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary and breathtaking art museums in the world, MoMA is a creative and inspirational gem in the heart of Midtown Manhattan that you simply need to check off of your bucket list. MoMA paintings are known the world over, and the museum does not only house work from American artists and curators. Housing an extensive collection of priceless and iconic works, including those by artistic geniuses like Salvador Dali and Claude Monet, you'll be utterly transformed after visiting this modern museum.

The Museum of Modern Art's Noteworthy Pieces

With over 200,000 individual items on display from a wealth of revolutionary and ground-breaking artists, the MoMA is home to many of the world's most revered artworks. Here are seven pieces of must-see artwork at MoMA that you can't miss when you come to the city that never sleeps:

1. The Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh

Not only is this considered the revered Dutch painter's most influential piece of art, but its focus on short brushstrokes and depiction of luminescence were groundbreaking elements during the Post-Impressionist era, making this oil on canvas more than simply an extremely famous artwork at MoMA — it's one of the most influential pieces of art in the world.

2. The Persistence of Memory, Salvador Dali

Admired for its surrealism and dreamlike scenery, The Persistence of Memory is a transformative and inviting masterpiece. First shown at the Julien Levy Gallery in 1932, this stunning depiction of an oceanside scene with melting clocks has been in the MoMA since 1934. Take a few minutes to contemplate your place in time while taking in this thought-provoking creation on your visit, as it's one of the most famous pieces at MoMA.

3. Les Demoiselles D’avignon, Pablo Picasso

Translated as "The Young Ladies of Avignon" and originally titled The Brothel of Avignon, this groundbreaking painting is one of Picasso's most important contributions to the Cubist movement; it took nine full months to complete. Its abstract and forward portrayal of women's bodies has been discussed in the art world since its creation, and you'll be sure to talk about it with your friends and family after seeing it.

4. Water Lilies collection, Claude Monet

This series of nearly 250 oil paintings depicting Monet's personal garden outside of his home in Giverny established him as one of the most prolific and accessible painters of French Impressionism through the late 1800s and early 1900s. These eye-catching, mesmerizing pieces of art were Monet's main artistic focus during the last few decades of his life.

5. Campbell's Soup Can, Andy Warhol

Perhaps the best-known artist of the American Pop Art movement, Warhol's bright, punchy depictions of cultural symbols wowed the modern art scene like no one else. His portrayal of a Campbell's soup can — a piece of art known by the same name — celebrates five decades of being on display at the MoMA this year. Fun fact: the Campbell's Soup Can was actually part of a series of 32 cans, each depicting one of the 32 flavors available at the time.

6. The Lovers, Rene Magritte

Visiting the Museum of Modern Art should not be without its emotional moments — and this surrealist painting by Belgian artist Rene Magritte is likely to elicit one. Representing the barriers between two lovers who desperately want to be intimate, this unforgettable visual will stay with you long after you leave the city.

7. Broadway Boogie-Woogie, Piet Mondrian

After moving to NYC, Piet Mondrian completed this abstraction of the city grid in 1943, using color and style influences he embraced due to his love of blues boogie-woogie.

When it comes to experiencing art and all it brings to our senses, there's no better place than the MoMA to inspire you while enjoying the bright lights of the greatest city in the Empire state.

Performance Art, Sculptures, and Other Can't-Miss Artworks

There are plenty of famous paintings at MoMA, but that isn't all. In addition to MoMA artwork, be sure to make enough time to see other can't-miss sculptures, architectural models, and performance art exhibitions during your visit, like:

  • The paintings and sculptures of surviving Italian artist Frank Stella's geometric and minimalist hands
  • Kazimir Malevich's avant-garde artistry style, including Airplane Flying and Suprematist
  • An immense array of stories brought to life in the MoMA film collection
  • The gorgeous library that houses over 300,000 books inside

MoMA's collection is eclectic and intentional, bringing together nearly two centuries of some of the world's most famous works of art alongside those of today's most celebrated artists. Being in the presence of such vast and varied creativity from both the past and present is a gift — and these other pieces are no exception.

Tour One of New York's Most-Visited Museums at a Fraction of the Cost

From an incredible exhibition space that holds over 165,000 feet of galleries and gathering areas to the artworks themselves, or even to the museum workers who make a smooth experience possible each and every day, putting MoMA at the top of your list when visiting New York is a must.

It can be tough to decide what you want to do and see in NYC with the endless amount of places to visit and experience. With New York C3® tickets, you can create your own three-ticket bundle and save over on the biggest attractions the city has to offer, including the Empire State Building, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum, among many others. And, with nine days to use your tickets, you will be able to make the most of your time — on your time.

Save time and money by making a single New York C3® ticket purchase count for a lifetime of memories in one of the grandest cities in the world, and tour one of New York's most-visited and cherished museums.

New York City Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in New York City, we recommend finding lodging near New York City's top attractions like MoMA. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

Header image Courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art ©2024

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