Clio Logo

The New Museum of Contemporary Art, established in 1977, was founded by Marcia Tucker. It was the first museum in New York City that solely focused on contemporary art since World War II. A main purpose of the museum is to provide recognition for less popular artists, such as Mona Hatoum, as well as maintaining a focus on modern art. The museum keeps a record of all of its past and present exhibits in a catalogue that is free to use for tourists.


  • Exterior view of museum.
  • Indoor museum exhibit
  • Indoor museum exhibit.

     The New Museum of Contemporary Art was founded on January 1, 1977. With financial assistance from Allen Goldring, Marcia Tucker founded the museum. With Tucker's experiences as a worker of the Whitney Museum of American Art for nine years, she understood the difficulty that is associated with incorporating modern art with customary art.
     The museum's central purpose is to highlight and display artists' work that dates back no farther than ten years. In other words, the museum strictly focuses on contemporary art, rather than more traditional artworks. Additionally, it was the first contemporary art museum that was constructed in New York City since World War II. One of the museum's main focuses is its determination to reach out and broadcast artists that are still living in an effort to extend their artistic recognition.
     The museum faced many transitional periods throughout its establishment. The museum's space began at C Space, which is a petite, work-in-progress location for Tucker to begin her construction and exhibition building. In July 1977, the museum transitioned to another tiny gallery at the New School for Social Research, which was given by Vera List. Later, the museum moved its grounds too the Astor Building, which offered much more space and room for a healthy museum. Finally, in 2002, the New Museum built a building of its own, where it currently exists on Bowery Street. Once construction was complete, the museum opened on December 1, 2007.
     The New Museum features a large variety of exhibits, which attracts diverse tourists. Its first exhibit was created by Tucker at the museum's first location (C Space). It was entitled, "Memory", and focused on the importance of memorial experiences. Other exhibits include technological advances in art, such as movies, photographs, etc. The museum also features work my Mona Hatoum, Doris Salcedo, and Cildo Meireles, which are all somewhat non-popular artists of their era. A unique detail about the museum is its creation of a catalogue that includes each of its exhibits. This allows the museum's tourists to have a running record of all of the past and present exhibits that may be of interest.

New Museum of Contemporary Art. Yelp. January 01, 2004. Accessed April 08, 2017. https://www.yelp.com/biz/new-museum-of-contemporary-art-new-york-2.

History. New Museum. January 01, 2012. Accessed April 08, 2017. http://www.newmuseum.org/history.

New Museum. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. March 27, 2017. Accessed April 08, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Museum.

VanValkenburgh, DaisyMae. New York City's New Museum. YouTube. December 04, 2016. Accessed April 08, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=befiywvQ4uI.