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Enjoy a Stroke of Genius at Museums

Museum of Modern Art

New York

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was the first museum in the United States dedicated solely to modern art. It began as an educational institution, founded in 1929 by a group of influential patrons and forward-thinking trustees. The intent was to create “the greatest museum of modern art in the world.”

MoMA boasts an impressive and constantly evolving collection of almost 200,000 works of modern and contemporary art, including 3,600 works of painting and sculpture, roughly 22,000 films, more than 300,000 books, more than 2,500 linear feet of historical documentation and a photographic archive that spans tens of thousands of photographs. The painting and sculpture collection highlights artists from the late 19th century to today and includes renowned pieces like Paul Cézanne’s “The Bather” and Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.”

The museum is the most-visited modern art institution in the United States. Its location in midtown Manhattan makes it an easy addition to group itineraries in the city.

“We provide VIP tours before the museum opens and after it closes,” said Carly McCloskey, assistant director of tourism sales and marketing at MoMA, “and we also provide free audio guides in nine languages.”

IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Santa Fe, New Mexico

As an extension of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) began as a student honors program and a passion project for the school. It wasn’t until 1972 that the program grew into an official museum, a feat made possible by funding from outside artists and private collectors who sought to cast a brighter light on this underrecognized segment of American modern art.

The MoCNA is the only museum in the country dedicated exclusively to exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the work of contemporary native artists. As the museum has grown over the years, it has acquired a wide-ranging collection of close to 7,500 pieces of art that includes paintings, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, photography, contemporary apparel, textiles, cultural arts, new media and installations. The permanent collection includes works from artists like Tony Abeyta, Linda Lomahaftewa, George Morrison, Allan Houser, Helen Hardin and Truman Lowe.

The museum also hosts an exciting range of special exhibitions throughout the year, like the current Terrol Dew Johnson, Ben Aranda and Chris Lasch show “Meeting the Clouds Halfway,” which runs through February 16, 2019. The exhibition explores traditional Tohono O’odham practices and their bearing on modern life.

“My favorite aspect of the museum is how it encourages creative expression,” said Manuela Well-Off-Man, chief curator of the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. “It creates an opportunity for people to engage in cross-cultural dialogues with communities at local and international levels.”

Group tours are available with two weeks’ notice.