The essay "Contemporary Modern Art" discovers the modern art. New York is a city of museums, a sight that can be most overwhelming at the best of times. MoMA, the museum of modern art is among the very best of modern museums in the world today. Started in the 1920s by visionaries like John Rockefeller, New York became the hub of the modern art world when the Nazis were taking control of Europe. Initially, MoMA promoted the works of modern artists like Pollock, Warhol, and Arbus, but with time, the museum has grown and has a collection of over 150,000 paintings, sculptures, and photographs. The museum continues to expand even today. The museum has an outstanding collection of photographs from artists of the eras gone by and contemporary. Some of the best photographs can be seen here, including some brilliant portraits by Diane Arbus. Museums preserve noted works of artists. Many such seminal works in the modernist canon base their work on the female nude: Manet’s Olympia, Cezanne’s Grand Bathers, Picasso’s Demoiselles of Avignon, Henri Matisse’s Pink Nude, Henry Moore’s Reclining Nude. The project of questioning art object’s in relationship to the gallery centers around several assumptions: There is something worth displaying; There is a specific context for display. The cramped basements of museum reveal reputations lost and names forgotten, a storehouse that reminiscence works once given prominence, now no more than an enthusiasm of a specialist or just a historical curiosity.
Museums are intended to bring to life a past history to the visitor, therefore in more than one way, the countenance of the museum where arts are displayed, should have prominence too. Galleries such as the Musee d' Orsay and the Tate Galleries in Liverpool and Millbank in London are part of urban regeneration packages, sited in disused industrial buildings, obsolete railway stations, warehouses and power stations. The eccentric nature of the buildings is complimented by remarkably similar displays across the institutions. This is why one gets to sense the presentation of modern art in puritanically regulated white-walled rooms with strategically placed spotlights and humidity monitors, analogical to all modern art galleries across the globe (Meecham and Sheldon, 2000, p.198-99).
Museums are the spaces in which histories and the fixtures and fittings of meaning are installed. There is no dearth to the kind of exhibits available across a diverse spectrum of museums globally. The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the first museum to devote itself exclusively to modern art, was founded in 1929, the year in which the stock market crashed and America witnessed the Great Depression. It has been the most influential modern art museum, not just in terms of design and display but in the definition of the art that would be considered modern.