The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), located in Manhattan, NY.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), located in Manhattan, NY.
Photo credit: pio3 / Shutterstock

Big changes are coming to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Not only is the institution undergoing a major renovation, but curators will also begin featuring underrepresented artists.

“A new generation of curators is discovering the richness of what is in our collection, and there is great work being made around the world that we need to pay attention to,” said Glenn Lowry, director of the museum. “It means that the usual gets supplanted now by the unexpected.”

Traditionalists: fear not! For the institution will continue to feature classic works by world-renowned artists like Picasso and van Gogh. The upcoming renovation—which will add an extra 40,000 square feet of space—will be used to display works by women, African-Americans, Asians, Latinos, and other underrepresented populations.

“We don’t want to forget our roots in terms of having the greatest Modernist collection, but the museum didn’t emphasize female artists, didn’t emphasize what minority artists were doing, and it was limited on geography,” said Leon Black, chairman of the museum. “Where those were always the exceptions, now they really should be part of the reality of the multicultural society we all live in.”

The museum will be closed from June 15 to Oct. 21 while the building undergoes construction. As the New York Times points out, it marks a dramatic shift in the discipline-based display system that has been used for more than 80 years.

“Inspired by Alfred Barr’s original vision to be an experimental museum in New York, the real value of this expansion is not just more space, but space that allows us to rethink the experience of art in the Museum,” Lowry explained. “We have an opportunity to re-energize and expand upon our founding mission—to welcome everyone to experience MoMA as a laboratory for the study and presentation of the art of our time, across all visual arts.”