The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a German expressionist painter and printmaker and one of the founders of the artists group Die Brücke or "The Bridge", a key group leading to the foundation of Expressionism in 20th-century art. He volunteered for army service in the First World War, but soon suffered a breakdown and was discharged. In 1933, his work was branded as "degenerate" by the Nazis and in 1937, over 600 of his works were sold or destroyed. In 1938, he committed suicide by gunshot. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was born in Bavaria, his parents were of Prussian descent and his mother was a descendant of the Huguenots, a fact to which Kirchner referred. As Kirchner's father searched for a job, the family moved and Kirchner attended schools in Frankfurt and Perlen until his father earned the position of Professor of Paper Sciences at the College of technology in Chemnitz, where Kirchner attended secondary school. Although Kirchner's parents encouraged his artistic career they wanted him to complete his formal education so in 1901, he began studying architecture at the Königliche Technische Hochschule of Dresden.
The institution provided a wide range of studies in addition to architecture, such as freehand drawing, perspective drawing and the historical study of art. While in attendance, he became close friends with Fritz Bleyl, whom Kirchner met during the first term, they discussed art together and studied nature, having a radical outlook in common. Kirchner continued studies in Munich from 1903 to 1904, returning to Dresden in 1905 to complete his degree. In 1905, along with Bleyl and two other architecture students, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Erich Heckel, founded the artists group Die Brücke. From on, he committed himself to art; the group aimed to eschew the prevalent traditional academic style and find a new mode of artistic expression, which would form a bridge between the past and the present. They responded both to past artists such as Albrecht Dürer, Matthias Grünewald and Lucas Cranach the Elder, as well as contemporary international avant-garde movements; as part of the affirmation of their national heritage, they revived older media woodcut prints.
Their group was one of the seminal ones which in due course had a major impact on the evolution of modern art in the 20th century and created the style of Expressionism. The group met in Kirchner's first studio, a butcher's shop. Bleyl described it as "that of a real bohemian, full of paintings lying all over the place, drawings and artist’s materials — much more like an artist’s romantic lodgings than the home of a well-organised architecture student". Kirchner's studio became a venue which overthrew social conventions to allow casual love-making and frequent nudity. Group life-drawing sessions took place using models from the social circle, rather than professionals, choosing quarter-hour poses to encourage spontaneity. Bleyl described one such model, Isabella, a fifteen-year-old girl from the neighbourhood, as "a lively, beautifully built, joyous individual, without any deformation caused by the silly fashion of the corset and suitable to our artistic demands in the blossoming condition of her girlish buds."A group manifesto written by Kirchner in 1906 stated that "Everyone who reproduces and without illusion, whatever he senses the urge to create, belongs to us".
In September and October 1906, the first group exhibition was held, focused on the female nude, in the showroom of K. F. M. Seifert and Co. in Dresden. In 1906, he met Doris Große, his favoured model until 1911. Between 1907 and 1911, he stayed during the summer at the Moritzburg lakes and on the island of Fehmarn with other Brücke members. In 1911, he moved to Berlin, where he founded a private art school, MIUM-Institut, in collaboration with Max Pechstein with the aim of promulgating "Moderner Unterricht im Malen"; this was not a success and closed the following year, when he began a relationship with Erna Schilling that lasted the rest of his life. In 1913, his writing of Chronik der Brücke led to the ending of the group. At this time, he established an individual identity with his first solo exhibition, which took place at the Essen Folkwang Museum. During the next two years, he painted a series of "Straßenszenen" showing the streets of Berlin, with the central characters of street walkers. At the onset of the First World War in September 1914, Kirchner volunteered for military service.
In July 1915 he was sent to Halle an der Saale to train as a driver in the reserve unit of the 75th Mansfeld Field Artillery Regiment. Kirchner's riding instructor, Professor Hans Fehr, arranged for Kirchner to be discharged after a mental breakdown. Kirchner returned to Berlin and continued to work, producing many paintings including Self-Portrait as a Soldier. In a letter to Dr. Karl Hagemann, a friend and patron, Kirchner writes: "After lengthy struggles I now find myself here for a time to put my mind into some kind of order, it is a difficult thing, of course, to be among strangers so much of the day. But I’ll be able to see and create something new. For the time being, I would like absolute seclusion. Of course, I long more for my work and my studio. Theories may be all well for keeping a spiritual balance, but they are grey and shadowy compared with work and life"
The Scream is the popular name given to a composition created by Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch in 1893. The original German title given by Munch to his work was Der Schrei der Natur, the Norwegian title is Skrik; the agonised face in the painting has become one of the most iconic images of art, seen as symbolising the anxiety of modern man. Munch recalled that he had been out for a walk at sunset when the setting sunlight turned the clouds "a blood red", he sensed an ‘infinite scream passing through nature'. Scholars have located the spot to a fjord overlooking Oslo, have suggested other explanations for the unnaturally orange sky, ranging from the effects of a volcanic eruption to a psychological reaction by Munch to his sister’s commitment at a nearby lunatic asylum. Munch created four versions in paint and pastels, as well as a lithograph stone from which several prints survive. Both of the painted versions have been stolen, but since recovered. One of the pastel versions commanded the fourth highest nominal price paid for a painting at a public auction.
In his diary in an entry headed "Nice 22 January 1892", Munch wrote: I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature. He described his inspiration for the image: One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood; the color shrieked. This became The Scream. Among theories advanced to account for the reddish sky in the background is the artist's memory of the effects of the powerful volcanic eruption of Krakatoa, which tinted sunset skies red in parts of the Western hemisphere for months during 1883 and 1884, about a decade before Munch painted The Scream.
This explanation has been disputed by scholars, who note that Munch was an expressive painter and was not interested in literal renderings of what he had seen. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the proximity of both a slaughterhouse and a lunatic asylum to the site depicted in the painting may have offered some inspiration; the scene was identified as being the view from a road overlooking Oslo, the Oslofjord and Hovedøya, from the hill of Ekeberg. At the time of painting the work, Munch's manic depressive sister Laura Catherine was a patient at the mental asylum at the foot of Ekeberg. In 1978, the Munch scholar Robert Rosenblum suggested that the strange, sexless creature in the foreground of the painting was inspired by a Peruvian mummy, which Munch could have seen at the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris; this mummy, buried in a fetal position with its hands alongside its face struck the imagination of Munch's friend Paul Gauguin: it stood as a model for figures in more than twenty of Gauguin's paintings, among those the central figure in his painting, Human misery and for the old woman at the left in his painting, Where Do We Come From?
What Are We? Where Are We Going?. In 2004, an Italian anthropologist speculated that Munch might have seen a mummy in Florence's Museum of Natural History, which bears an more striking resemblance to the painting; however studies have disputed the Italian theory, for Munch never visited Florence until after painting The Scream. The imagery of The Scream has been compared to that which an individual suffering from depersonalization disorder experiences, a feeling of distortion of the environment and one's self. Arthur Lubow has described The Scream as "an icon of modern art, a Mona Lisa for our time." It has been interpreted as representing the universal anxiety of modern man. Munch created four versions in paint and pastels; the first painted version was the first exhibited, debuting in 1893. It is in the collection of the National Gallery of Norway in Oslo. A pastel version from that year, which may have been a preliminary study, is in the collection of the Munch Museum in Oslo; the second pastel version, from 1895, was sold for $119,922,600 at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art auction on 2 May 2012 to financier Leon Black.
The second painted version dates from 1910, during a period when Munch revisited some of his prior compositions. It is in the collection of the Munch Museum; these versions have traveled, though the 1895 pastel was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from October 2012 to April 2013, the 1893 pastel was exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2015. Additionally, Munch created a lithograph stone of the composition in 1895 from which several prints produced by Munch survive. Only four dozen prints were made before the original stone was resurfaced by the printer in Munch's absence; the material composition of the 1893 painted version was examined in 2010. The pigment analysis revealed the use of cadmium yellow, vermilion and viridian among other pigments in use in the 19th century; the Scream has been the target of a number of thefts and theft attempts. Some damage has been suffered in these thefts. On 12 February 1994, the same day as the opening of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, two men broke into the National Gallery and stole its version of The Scream, leaving a note reading "Thanks for the poor security".
The painting had been moved down to a second-story gallery a
Beacon Street is a major thoroughfare in Boston and several of its western suburbs. It goes through Boston, Brookline and Newton, it is not to be confused with the Beacon Street in nearby Somerville or others elsewhere. Beacon Street begins as a one-way street from the intersection of School Street. From this point, it rises up Beacon Hill for a block where it meets Park Street in front of the Massachusetts State House. From that intersection it descends Beacon Hill as a two-lane, bi-directional street until it reaches Charles Street. At Charles Street, it becomes a one-way avenue that runs through the Back Bay neighborhood until it reaches Kenmore Square. From Kenmore Square, Beacon Street skirts the area around Fenway Park and follows a southwesterly slant through Brookline along either side of MBTA Green Line trolley tracks to Cleveland Circle in Brighton. From there it passes Boston College as it winds its way to the city of Newton, where it crosses Centre Street to form the defining intersection of Newton Centre, meets Walnut Street at "Four Corners" near the Newton Cemetery, goes through Waban at its intersection with Woodward Street.
It ends at Washington Street near Boston's circumferential highway, Route 128. Beacon Street formed the northern limit of Boston Common, was extended over the Charles River Basin as a dam that would form the shore between a narrowed river and the newly filled-in Back Bay neighborhood; the part of Beacon Street west of Kenmore Square was laid out in 1850. Railroad tracks were first laid in 1888 for what would become the modern Green Line "C" Branch. Robert McCloskey's 1941 children's book Make Way for Ducklings features a mother duck leading her eight ducklings across Beacon Street, with the help of four members of the Boston Police Department; the Beacon Street Girls series of preteen books is set around Beacon Street in Brookline. Nanci Griffith's 1987 album Lone Star State of Mind has a song called Beacon Street. Beacon Street is the location of the fictional pizza parlor "Beacon Street Pizza" during the first season of the sitcom Two Guys and a Girl. 112½ is the address of the fictional bar Cheers.
The actual location of the exterior shots is 84 Beacon Street. The Unitarian Universalist Association managed to confuse the numbers on this street. In 1927, moving from 25 Beacon Street down the street, they wanted to keep the number 25, convinced the legislature to pass a law to keep it. In Rick Riordan’s “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard” a main character owns a shop on Beacon Street and the shop appears several times throughout the series. Media related to Beacon Street at Wikimedia Commons New York Public Library. Postcard of Unitarian Building, 25 Beacon Street Boston, Headquarters American Unitarian Association. Shows State House, Hotel Bellevue, early 20th century
Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. Kandinsky is credited as the pioneer of abstract art. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa, where he graduated at Grekov Odessa Art school, he enrolled at the University of Moscow. Successful in his profession—he was offered a professorship at the University of Dorpat—Kandinsky began painting studies at the age of 30. In 1896, Kandinsky settled in Munich, studying first at Anton Ažbe's private school and at the Academy of Fine Arts, he returned to Moscow in 1914, after the outbreak of World War I. Following the Russian Revolution, Kandinsky "became an insider in the cultural administration of Anatoly Lunacharsky" and helped establish the Museum of the Culture of Painting. However, by "his spiritual outlook... was foreign to the argumentative materialism of Soviet society", opportunities beckoned in Germany, to which he returned in 1920. There he taught at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture from 1922 until the Nazis closed it in 1933.
He moved to France, where he lived for the rest of his life, becoming a French citizen in 1939 and producing some of his most prominent art. He died in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1944. Kandinsky's creation of abstract work followed a long period of development and maturation of intense thought based on his artistic experiences, he called this devotion to inner beauty, fervor of spirit, spiritual desire inner necessity. Kandinsky was born in Moscow, the son of Lidia Ticheeva and Vasily Silvestrovich Kandinsky, a tea merchant. One of his great grandmothers was a Princess Gantimurova explaining the "slight Mongolian trait in his features". Kandinsky learned from a variety of sources while in Moscow, he studied many fields while including law and economics. In life, he would recall being fascinated and stimulated by colour as a child, his fascination with colour symbolism and psychology continued. In 1889, he was part of an ethnographic research group which travelled to the Vologda region north of Moscow.
In Looks on the Past, he relates that the houses and churches were decorated with such shimmering colours that upon entering them, he felt that he was moving into a painting. This experience, his study of the region's folk art, was reflected in much of his early work. A few years he first likened painting to composing music in the manner for which he would become noted, writing, "Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings; the artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul". Kandinsky was the uncle of Russian-French philosopher Alexandre Kojève. In 1896, at the age of 30, Kandinsky gave up a promising career teaching law and economics to enroll in the Munich Academy where his teachers would include Franz von Stuck, he was not granted admission, began learning art on his own. That same year, before leaving Moscow, he saw an exhibit of paintings by Monet, he was taken with the impressionistic style of Haystacks.
He would write about this experience: That it was a haystack the catalogue informed me. I could not recognise it; this non-recognition was painful to me. I considered. I dully felt, and I noticed with surprise and confusion that the picture not only gripped me, but impressed itself ineradicably on my memory. Painting took on splendour. Kandinsky was influenced during this period by Richard Wagner's Lohengrin which, he felt, pushed the limits of music and melody beyond standard lyricism, he was spiritually influenced by Madame Blavatsky, the best-known exponent of theosophy. Theosophical theory postulates that creation is a geometrical progression, beginning with a single point; the creative aspect of the form is expressed by a descending series of circles and squares. Kandinsky's book Concerning the Spiritual In Art and Point and Line to Plane echoed this theosophical tenet. Illustrations by John Varley in Thought Forms influenced him visually. In the summer of 1902, Kandinsky invited Gabriele Münter to join him at his summer painting classes just south of Munich in the Alps.
She accepted, their relationship became more personal than professional. Art school considered difficult, was easy for Kandinsky, it was during this time. The number of his existing paintings increased in the beginning of the 20th century. For the most part, Kandinsky's paintings did not feature any human figures. Riding Couple depicts a man on horseback, holding a woman with tenderness and care as they ride past a Russian town with luminous walls across a river; the horse is muted while the leaves in the trees, the town, the reflections in the river glisten with spots of colour and brightness. This work demonstrates the influence of pointillism in the way the depth of field is collapsed into a flat, luminescent s
Massachusetts the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, New York to the west; the state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history and industry. Dependent on agriculture and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, higher education and maritime trade. Plymouth was the site of the second colony in New England after Popham Colony in 1607 in what is now Maine.
Plymouth was founded in 1620 by passengers of the Mayflower. In 1692, the town of Salem and surrounding areas experienced one of America's most infamous cases of mass hysteria, the Salem witch trials. In 1777, General Henry Knox founded the Springfield Armory, which during the Industrial Revolution catalyzed numerous important technological advances, including interchangeable parts. In 1786, Shays' Rebellion, a populist revolt led by disaffected American Revolutionary War veterans, influenced the United States Constitutional Convention. In the 18th century, the Protestant First Great Awakening, which swept the Atlantic World, originated from the pulpit of Northampton preacher Jonathan Edwards. In the late 18th century, Boston became known as the "Cradle of Liberty" for the agitation there that led to the American Revolution; the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts has played a powerful commercial and cultural role in the history of the United States. Before the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center for the abolitionist and transcendentalist movements.
In the late 19th century, the sports of basketball and volleyball were invented in the western Massachusetts cities of Springfield and Holyoke, respectively. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first U. S. state to recognize same-sex marriage as a result of the decision in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Many prominent American political dynasties have hailed from the state, including the Adams and Kennedy families. Harvard University in Cambridge is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States, with the largest financial endowment of any university, Harvard Law School has educated a contemporaneous majority of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Kendall Square in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", in reference to the high concentration of entrepreneurial start-ups and quality of innovation which have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010. Both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, have been ranked among the most regarded academic institutions in the world.
Massachusetts' public-school students place among the top tier in the world in academic performance, the state has been ranked as one of the top states in the United States for citizens to live in, as well as one of the most expensive. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was named after the indigenous population, the Massachusett derived from a Wôpanâak word muswach8sut, segmented as mus "big" + wach8 "mountain" + -s "diminutive" + -ut "locative", it has been translated as "near the great hill", "by the blue hills", "at the little big hill", or "at the range of hills", referring to the Blue Hills, or in particular the Great Blue Hill, located on the boundary of Milton and Canton. Alternatively, Massachusett has been represented as Moswetuset—from the name of the Moswetuset Hummock in Quincy, where Plymouth Colony commander Myles Standish, hired English military officer, Squanto, part of the now disappeared Patuxet band of the Wampanoag peoples, met Chief Chickatawbut in 1621; the official name of the state is the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts".
While this designation is part of the state's official name, it has no practical implications. Massachusetts has powers within the United States as other states, it may have been chosen by John Adams for the second draft of the Massachusetts Constitution because unlike the word "state", "commonwealth" at the time had the connotation of a republic, in contrast to the monarchy the former American colonies were fighting against. Massachusetts was inhabited by tribes of the Algonquian language family such as the Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc and Massachusett. While cultivation of crops like squash and corn supplemented their diets, these tribes were dependent on hunting and fishing for most of their food. Villages consisted of lodges called wigwams as well as longhouses, tribes were led by male or female elders known as sachems. In the early 1600s, after contact had been made with Europeans, large numbers of the indigenous peoples in the northeast of what is now the United States were killed by virgin soil epidemics such as smallpox, measles and leptospirosis.
Between 1617 and 1619, smallpox killed ap
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. MoMA plays a major role in developing and collecting modernist art, is identified as one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world. MoMA's collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, painting, photography, illustrated books and artist's books and electronic media; the MoMA Library includes 300,000 books and exhibition catalogs, over 1,000 periodical titles, over 40,000 files of ephemera about individual artists and groups. The archives holds primary source material related to the history of contemporary art; the idea for the Museum of Modern Art was developed in 1929 by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and two of her friends, Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan, they became known variously as "the Ladies", "the daring ladies" and "the adamantine ladies". They rented modest quarters for the new museum in the Heckscher Building at 730 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, it opened to the public on November 7, 1929, nine days after the Wall Street Crash.
Abby had invited A. Conger Goodyear, the former president of the board of trustees of the Albright Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, to become president of the new museum. Abby became treasurer. At the time, it was America's premier museum devoted to modern art, the first of its kind in Manhattan to exhibit European modernism. One of Abby's early recruits for the museum staff was the noted Japanese-American photographer Soichi Sunami, who served the museum as its official documentary photographer from 1930 until 1968. Goodyear enlisted Paul J. Frank Crowninshield to join him as founding trustees. Sachs, the associate director and curator of prints and drawings at the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, was referred to in those days as a collector of curators. Goodyear asked him to recommend a director and Sachs suggested Alfred H. Barr, Jr. a promising young protege. Under Barr's guidance, the museum's holdings expanded from an initial gift of eight prints and one drawing, its first successful loan exhibition was in November 1929, displaying paintings by Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, Seurat.
First housed in six rooms of galleries and offices on the twelfth floor of Manhattan's Heckscher Building, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, the museum moved into three more temporary locations within the next ten years. Abby's husband was adamantly opposed to the museum and refused to release funds for the venture, which had to be obtained from other sources and resulted in the frequent shifts of location, he donated the land for the current site of the museum, plus other gifts over time, thus became in effect one of its greatest benefactors. During that time it initiated many more exhibitions of noted artists, such as the lone Vincent van Gogh exhibition on November 4, 1935. Containing an unprecedented sixty-six oils and fifty drawings from the Netherlands, as well as poignant excerpts from the artist's letters, it was a major public success due to Barr's arrangement of the exhibit, became "a precursor to the hold van Gogh has to this day on the contemporary imagination"; the museum gained international prominence with the hugely successful and now famous Picasso retrospective of 1939–40, held in conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago.
In its range of presented works, it represented a significant reinterpretation of Picasso for future art scholars and historians. This was wholly masterminded by Barr, a Picasso enthusiast, the exhibition lionized Picasso as the greatest artist of the time, setting the model for all the museum's retrospectives that were to follow. Boy Leading a Horse was contested over ownership with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In 1941, MoMA hosted the ground-breaking exhibition, Indian Art of the United States, that changed the way American Indian arts were viewed by the public and exhibited in art museums; when Abby Rockefeller's son Nelson was selected by the board of trustees to become its flamboyant president in 1939, at the age of thirty, he became the prime instigator and funder of its publicity and subsequent expansion into new headquarters on 53rd Street. His brother, David Rockefeller joined the museum's board of trustees in 1948 and took over the presidency when Nelson was elected Governor of New York in 1958.
David subsequently employed the noted architect Philip Johnson to redesign the museum garden and name it in honor of his mother, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. He and the Rockefeller family in general have retained a close association with the museum throughout its history, with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund funding the institution since 1947. Both David Rockefeller, Jr. and Sharon Percy Rockefeller sit on the board of trustees. In 1937, MoMA had shifted to offices and basement galleries in the Time-Life Building in Rockefeller Center, its permanent and current home, now renovated, designed in the International Style by the modernist architects Philip L. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone, opened to the public on May 10, 1939, attended by an illustrious company of 6,000 people, with an opening address via radio from the White House by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. On April 15, 1958, a fire on the second floor destroyed an 18 foot long Monet Water Lilies painting (the current Mone