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“To sense the invisible and to be able to create it — that is art.”

Hans Hofmann was born #onthisday in 1880. The abstract expressionist was also an influential modern art teacher, whose students included Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, and Joan Mitchell.

[Hans Hofmann. Cathedral. 1959. Oil on canvas. Fractional and promised gift of Agnes Gund in honor of William Rubin. © 2017 Estate of Hans Hofmann/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York]

Edward Steichen’s “The Maypole (Empire State Building)”

Edward Steichen was born on this day in 1879. In addition to being a photographer himself, Steichen was Director of MoMA’s Department of Photography and curated the museum’s popular exhibition The Family of Man. Steichen took this photo of the Empire State Building a year after its construction ended, and used two separate negatives to create the photograph’s dizzying effect.

[Edward Steichen. The Maypole (Empire State Building). 1932. Gelatin silver print. Gift of the photographer. © 2017 The Estate of Edward Steichen/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.]

René Lalique (French, 1860–1945), Chrysanthemum Pendant/Brooch, c. 1900. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. © 2014 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo by John Faier, 2014, © The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

“I just decided when someone says you can’t do something, do more of it.” - Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold’s Freedom Woman Now (Political Posters) from 1971. In honor of International Women’s Day. See more of Ringgold’s works at

(Cut-and-pasted colored paper on board. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Endowment for Prints. © 2017 Faith Ringgold/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

Juan Gris’s “Breakfast”

Juan Gris was born #onthisday in 1887. Gris favored the papier collé technique invented by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. In Breakfast, the artist combines abstract collage with tromp l’oeil drawing, calling the perception of reality into question. Learn more.

[Juan Gris. Breakfast. 1914. Gouache, oil, and crayon on cut-and-pasted printed paper on canvas with oil and crayon. Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.]

Alberto Burri, Cellotex L.A. 2<./em>, 1979. Acrylic and vinavil on fiberboard; 39 ¾ x 30 in. Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini, Collezione Burri, Città di Castello, Italy. © 2010 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome.


Happy Birthday Agnes Martin and Yayoi Kusama!

Both pioneering artists, both born on this day, and both featured in MoMA’s newest free online course, “In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting.” It wasn’t easy for these women to make a place for themselves in the male-dominated postwar New York art world. But they persisted—with Kusama claiming that she wanted nothing less than to “start a new art movement”—and became some of the foremost artists of their day. Enroll today to learn about the materials, techniques, and approaches of Martin, Kusama, and five other New York School artists. Sign up at today!

[Agnes Martin. With My Back to the World. 1997. Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, six panels. Fractional and promised gift of Michael and Judy Ovitz. © 2017 Estate of Agnes Martin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Yayoi Kusama. Accumulation. 1952. Ink on paperboard. The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Gift (purchase, and gift, in part, of The Eileen and Michael Cohen Collection). © 2017 Yayoi Kusama]

Richard Hamilton was born on this day in 1922.

A pioneer of Pop Art, the British artist used collage to critique consumer culture and mass media. A prime example of this is Interior, which incorporates advertisements from mass-circulation magazines.

View other work of Hamilton’s in the #MoMACollection at

[Richard Hamilton. Interior. 1964. Screenprint. Dorothy Braude Edinburg Fund. © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London]

“Simplicity is not an end in art, but we usually arrive at simplicity as we approach the true sense of things.”

Constantin Brancusi, pioneer of modern sculpture, was born on this day in 1876. Fish is an embodiment of an idea, depicting a fish’s movements through water and the moving water itself. Brancusi described the sculpture as the fish’s “speed, its floating, flashing body seen through the water…the flash of its spirit.” Learn more.

[Constantin Brancusi. Fish. 1930. Blue-gray marble, marble, limestone. Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest. © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris]

We’re thrilled to announce Calder: Hypermobility, opening June 9. The exhibition will bring together a rich constellation of kinetic works by Alexander Calder, and provide a rare opportunity to experience them as the artist intended—in motion. An extensive series of performances, concerts, events, screenings, and new commissions will bring contemporary artists into dialogue with Calder’s work, and will demonstrate the many ways his art continues to challenge and inform new generations.

[Alexander Calder (1898–1976), Dancers and Sphere (maquette for 1939 New York World’s Fair) set in motion in Calder’s “small shop” New York City storefront studio, 1938. © 2017 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Herbert Matter, courtesy Calder Foundation, New York]

In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting

MoMA’s newest free online course, “In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting,” has begun, and registration ends tomorrow! Taught by conservator, art historian, and artist Corey D’Augustine, the course combines studio demonstrations, walkthroughs of MoMA’s galleries, close visual analysis of paintings in the collection, and art historical insight to introduce you to seven New York School artists—Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Agnes Martin, Ad Reinhardt, and Yayoi Kusama. Says D’Augustine: “The more you know about how a painting is done, the more you can recreate the artist’s own perspective and intention, the more you can understand it.” Sign up at

[Mark Rothko. No. 16 (Red, Brown, and Black). 1958. Oil on canvas. Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. © 2017 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York]