Modern and contemporary art challenges the viewer to question the world around us. The Museum of Modern Art in New York seeks to foster this dialog on art and the pressing issues of our times in many different ways, including digital means. MoMA Director Glenn D. Lowry shares his thoughts on the interaction between art and education.
Art is everywhere. Not just in museums, but also on the street, in the media, on “Facebook” and “YouTube” – in short, wherever there are people, there is art. Whatever form it takes, art ignites minds and fuels creativity. And the dialog with art is a means of sharpening our perception of the environment and how we live together as global citizens.
Ever since it was founded in 1929, the Museum of Modern Art has been committed to helping people enjoy and understand the art of our times. MoMA excels in its educational and aesthetic missions by putting artists at the center of everything it does. Artists, through their work, challenge norms and push boundaries – values that are critically relevant for the world today as we move by necessity from a culture of consumption to one of innovation.
Modern and contemporary art can be challenging to interpret. Nevertheless, in the words of artist Marcel Duchamp: “The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting it, and thus contributing to the creative act.” Good museums provide both space and a home for this encounter. Through our commitment to research and education, MoMA supports a deeper understanding of today’s art by examining the social, cultural and historical contexts of artists and artworks. Our many educational initiatives thus help build bridges. Through our experimentation with online courses, we have begun to bring together people of all ages and origins in the digital world. They are united by a belief in the power of art and artists to ignite creative thinking. With the support of Volkswagen, we have started to develop sustainable ways of building global communities – and stimulate exchange across geographic barriers.
As a result, MoMA can open up new ways to engage in the dialog with and about art from its New York location. Digital media have the power and the potential to expand the global reach of the museum’s mission – fostering the individual creativity of millions of people worldwide, helping them to think and respond more critically to the evolving world in which we live.
GLENN D. LOWRY
57, HAS BEEN DIRECTOR OF THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART SINCE 1995.
New York City’s Museum of Modern Art has one of the world’s most famous collections of modern and contemporary art. Founded in 1929, it now houses 150,000 architectural and design works, including a Volkswagen Beetle, plus paintings, drawings and sculptures, as well as films, media and performance art, and a library with 300,000 volumes.