Five Must-See MoMA Exhibits You Can’t Miss

Visitors to the MoMA examine a piece of artwork.
Visitors to the MoMA examine a piece of artwork. Photo credit: Kyle Sanok/Let’s Go!

The Museum of Modern Art, also known as MoMA, features some of the world’s most famous artwork. Here are a few pieces from the incomparable museum that you can’t miss on your next visit:

1. Campbell’s Soup Cans

Warhol's iconic Campbell's Soup Cans adorn the walls of the MoMA.
Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans adorn the walls of the MoMA. Photo credit: Kyle Sanok/Let’s Go!

You’ve seen it on shirts, on Instagram, and on coffee mugs. You’ve seen various iterations of the work on the Internet and pop-culture. Now, you can see it in person. Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans is an icon of American art, expressing Warhol’s content with ordinary American culture. Thirty-two different soup can prints form a grid like lattice on the wall. Check it this must-see MoMa piece, take some pictures, and tell everyone you saw the soup cans.

2. Flag

Jasper Johns' Flag is made of plywood, newspaper, and paint.
Jasper Johns’ Flag is a must-see MoMa exhibit, made of plywood, newspaper, and paint. Photo credit: Kyle Sanok/Let’s Go!

Jasper Johns created Flag in 1955. To me, it feels familiar, as if I have seen it somewhere before — and no, it wasn’t just me mixing up the piece with every other American flag in the US. A mix of plywood, newspaper, and a waxy-paint, the work begs the question: “Is it a flag, or is it a painting?”

3. Starry Night

A picture of Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh in the Museum of Modern Art.
A picture of Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, a must-see MoMa piece. Photo credit: Kyle Sanok/Let’s Go!

Leaving the American sphere, another must-see is The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh. A vivid, yet calm representation of the view from the artist’s asylum includes an idealized village and celestial bodies. While its significance has been debated, you can pay the work a visit and attempt to decipher it yourself; just try and wrestle your way to the front!

4. Water Lilies

Claude Monet painted dozens of water lilies throughout his career, including the one pictured above "Water Lilies" in 1906.
Claude Monet painted dozens of water lilies throughout his career, including the one pictured above “Water Lilies” in 1906. Photo credit: Public domain

Claude Monet’s Water Lilies spans the entire room and teeters on the line between impressionism and abstraction. The blend of colors and visual flow from one lily to the next creates a serene environment evoking admiration for Monet’s skill.

5. Persistence of Memory

Must-see MoMA: A shot of the exterior garden at the Museum of Modern Art from the second floor.
A shot of the exterior garden at the Museum of Modern Art from the second floor. Photo credit: Kyle Sanok/Let’s Go!

The last picture to round out our top five belongs to the eccentric Spanish painter Salvador Dali. The Persistence of Memory work merges dreams, perception, and time with reality. Melting clocks, ants, and an abstract figure rest in the foreground of the painting while the cliffs of Dali’s home in Catalonia rise in the background. Puzzling, intriguing, and famous, Dali’s work will have you pondering the last dream you have — wondering what it would look like on canvas.

Ready to take on the Big Apple yourself? Book your tickets for the MoMA exhibits with PlacePass.

Curious about what else NYC has in store for you? Read our blog post on the Greenwich Village!

Written by: Kyle Sanok, a Let’s Go! researcher-writer

 

 

 

 

 

 

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