Located in midtown Manhattan since 1929, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) began a vast $858 million expansion and renovation project in 2002. Rather than put the entire collection into storage during construction, or shut down completely, the Museum temporarily moved lock, stock and barrel — along with a selection of masterpieces — to a former stapler factory in Queens.
A series of blockbuster exhibitions enticed dedicated art lovers to make the long subway trip out to the hinterlands (at least once, anyway), but New Yorkers rejoiced when MOMA finally moved back to Manhattan (the library and archives have permanently relocated to Queens).
The renovated museum has nearly twice the space of the former facility, including the newly created sixth floor that is currently the site of Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865–1885. Seeing how these two masters of French impressionism influenced one another was fascinating (unfortunately, cameras were not allowed inside the show). But on a gorgeous day like this the best place to be was outside in the sculpture garden, enjoying the bubbling fountain, the leafy shade and a cool, creamy cup of gelato.