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Art enthusiasts and novices alike are often awestruck by the masterpieces they find at the MoMA, including Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and Van Gogh's Starry Night. Plans for an expansion into the space next door (which, controversially, meant tearing down the American Folk Art Museum) include additional gallery space, a retractable glass wall, an expanded lobby, and the opening of its entire first floor, including the sculpture garden, as a free public space. Construction is already underway with an expected completion date in 2019.
In addition to the artwork, one of the main draws of MoMA is the building itself. A maze of glass walkways permits art viewing from many angles.
The 110-foot atrium entrance (accessed from the museum's lobby on either 53rd or 54th Street) leads to movie theaters and the main-floor restaurant, Modern, with Alsatian-inspired cuisine.
A favorite resting spot is the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Sculpture Garden. Designed by Philip Johnson, it features Barnett Newman's Broken Obelisk (1962–69). The glass wall lets visitors look directly into the surrounding galleries from the garden, where there's also a reflecting pool and trees.
Contemporary art (1970 to the present) from the museum's seven curatorial departments shares the second floor of the six-story building, and the skylighted top floor showcases an impressive lineup of changing exhibits.
MoMA's Audio+ app allows visitors to listen to audio commentaries and access, share, and save additional content. Audio+ iPods can be rented at the museum, or the app can be downloaded from MoMA's website.
Tickets are available online (www.moma.org) at a reduced price. Entrance between 4 and 8 pm on Friday is free, but expect long lines. Free Wi-Fi service within the museum allows you to listen to audio tours (log on to www.moma.org/wifi with your smartphone).
Film passes to the day's screenings are included with the price of admission. Tickets to MoMA also include free admission to its affiliate PS1 in Queens; save your ticket and you can go in for free any time within 30 days of your original purchase.
Grab a quick bite at one of MoMA's two cafés—Cafe 2 and Terrace 5, or dine leisurely at the upscale Modern. In summer there is gelato in the Sculpture Garden.