Guggenheim Museum or Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum are two of the most famous art museums in New York City. 

Visitors who want to explore the best art museums in NYC are often confused between these two. 

Both museums have extensive collections of modern and contemporary art, and both are located in Manhattan.

In this article, we will see Guggenheim Museum vs Museum of Modern Art – which is better?

Are MoMA and Guggenheim the same?

MoMA and the Guggenheim are different museums that have diverse collections.

These iconic museums are located 1.5 miles apart, with MoMA in Midtown and the Guggenheim in Upper Manhattan.

MoMA has a much larger collection of art than the Guggenheim and a more extensive collection of modern art. 

The Guggenheim has a more unique and innovative building and a small outdoor sculpture garden.

Museum of Modern Art vs Guggenheim – which to visit?

We suggest you visit both the Museums to enjoy the best of the artistic world in NYC.

You can enjoy contemporary art pieces at MoMA and head to Guggenheim for abstract art. 

However, if you are short on time or wish to visit only one museum, then the choice depends on your preference. 

If you want to visit a museum with a wide array of modern and contemporary art pieces, MoMA is the most desirable option.

Whereas if you want to enjoy the architecture and see different artworks, head to Guggenheim. 

Ultimately, we recommend you buy the MoMA + Guggenheim combination ticket and visit both museums. 

Ticket Prices

The Museum of Modern Art entry ticket costs $25 for visitors 17 to 64 years. 

Senior citizens over 65 years old pay a discounted price of $18. 

Students can also avail of a discount and pay only $14 for entrance.

Whereas the Guggenheim entry ticket costs $30 for visitors between 17 to 64 years. 

Senior Citizens and students get a discount of $11 and pay only $19 for entry. 

Children below 17 years get free admission to both museums. 

If you buy a combination ticket to MoMa and Guggenheim, the entry costs only $52 instead of $55. 

Combination tickets offer money-saving deals to visit the best art museums of NYC. 

MoMA vs Guggenheim – the building

The MoMA is housed in a 1939 building designed by Philip Johnson. 

The building is a modernist masterpiece with a sleek glass and steel exterior. 

The museum’s interior is impressive, with large open spaces and a soaring atrium.

The Guggenheim is housed in a spiraling concrete building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. 

The building is a striking example of expressionist architecture and has been praised for its innovative design. 

The museum’s interior is also unique, with a spiraling ramp that leads visitors up through the galleries.

MoMA vs Guggenheim – modern art collection

MoMA has one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of modern art. 

The collection includes works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, and Andy Warhol. 

The Museum of Modern Art also has an excellent photography, architecture, and design collection.

The Guggenheim has a smaller collection of modern art, but it is still very impressive. 

The collection includes works by artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and Alexander Calder. 

The Guggenheim also has a significant collection of non-Western art.

What to see in MoMA 

The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is renowned for its contemporary art collection.

This museum showcases various recent and evolving artistic expressions via oil on canvas, paper craftsmanship, photography, cinematography, and experimental architectural design.

Here are some of the must-see artworks in MoMA

1. Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” (1889)

Van Gogh’s night sky is one of the most famous paintings in the work. 

It shows the French town of Saint-Remy, where the painter was mentally ill during his last days. 

The dynamic hues and brushwork convey a feeling of dynamism, while the cypress plant positioned at the forefront symbolizes mortality.

2. The Persistence of Memor by Salvador Dali

This renowned artwork by Dalí has stood the test of time and remains influential today.

The Surrealist composition conveys time’s fluidity via liquid clocks.

This iconic piece of art utilizes Dalí’s exclusive method of bending time, reflecting his opinion that time is a flexible and abstract entity.

3. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picass

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Picass
Image: Moma.org

This painting presents five women in a brothel. 

The angular face and distorted face portray Picasso’s signature style. 

The cubist style employed by Picasso deviates from the usual norms of depth and structure.

4. Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol

Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol
Image: Moma.org

This painting shows 32 cans of Campbell’s soup cleverly arranged in this bold artwork.

His incorporation of commonplace products in his art served as a commentary on the commodification of the national aspiration.

5. Water Lilies by Claude Monet

Water Lilies by Claude Monet
Image: Moma.org

These works of art represent the water plants within Monet’s garden in Giverny.

The mellow shades and misty ambiance elicit sensations of quiet and inner peace.

6. The Lovers by René Magritte

In this painting, two people are shown entwined, their faces concealed beneath green apples.

The apples embody the boundary that separates the two from the rest of the world.

Whereas the painting acts as an allegory for the futility of genuinely knowing someone else.

7. Gas Station by Edward Hopper

This visual representation captures the scene of a gas station during twilight hours.

The vacant service station and its sole employee offer vivid representations of the loneliness and void of modern society.

These are just some remarkable artworks housed in the Museum of Modern Art, NYC. 

The Museum of Modern Art boasts diverse, innovative pieces, enticing visitors from all over.

Besides its permanent collection, MoMA hosts temporary exhibitions annually.

These exhibitions often feature the work of significant artists, such as the current exhibition “Matisse: The Dance.”

What to see in Guggenheim Museum?

The Guggenheim has an extensive collection of artwork from the early 20th century to the current day.

The museum showcases art by famous artists like Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, and Andy Warhol.

Here are some of the most famous artworks to see at the Guggenheim Museum:

1. Vasily Kandinsky, Composition 8

This specific piece is a prime example of abstract painting. 

The interplay of shapes and colors produces a visually engaging display of motion and vigor.

2. René Magritte, Empire of Light:

René Magritte Empire of Light
Image: Abc.net.au

This canvas boasts an exemplary representation of the Surrealist technique. 

It depicts a night scene with a townscape that is bathed in light.

The disparity between light and dark begets a sensation of mystique and dreamlike quality.

3. Jeff Koons, Puppy:

A towering flower artwork in the form of a West Highland White Terrier commands attention.

This cheeky and imaginative sculpture upends conventional expectations of how a work of art should appear.

4. Alexander Calder, The Circus:

The mobile phone design comprises abstract representations of circus performers and animals.

Its dynamic form is meant to be appreciated from all directions.

5. Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie:

A true masterpiece of geometric abstraction, this painting stands out in the Guggenheim Museum art collection.

These vibrant shapes form a harmonious pattern, generating a feel of momentum and energy.

Alongside those celebrated paintings, the Guggenheim boasts an array of other notable art pieces.

The museum also holds temporary exhibitions to display the work of new artists. 

If you love modern and contemporary art, consider visiting the Guggenheim Museum. 

While The museum’s collection may be renowned globally, its striking architecture also deserves attention as a standalone work of art.

Museum timings

MoMA is open from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm from Sunday to Friday. 

On Saturday, the MoMA closes at 7 pm. 

It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Guggenheim Museum is open from 11 am to 6 pm from Sunday to Friday.

On Saturdays, it is open until 8 pm. 

It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

MoMA is most crowded during initial opening hours, 10.30 am to 12 pm. 

It also gets crowded during the extended opening hours until 7 pm on Saturdays. 

Whereas the Guggenheim Museum is free during the initial opening hours and crowded during the evenings.

Distance between MoMA and Guggenheim

MoMA and the Guggenheim are about 1.5 miles apart. 

The walk between the two museums takes about 20 minutes.

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Featured Image: Reno Laithienne on Unsplash, tommao wang on Unsplash

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