Some time in the month of May—barring, of course, yet another postponement—the Museum of Modern Art will reopen its doors and give us a first glimpse of what our “new” MoMA is going to look like for the remaining years of the twentieth century. The museum has been closed to the public since January. For a longer time than that—since the “old” museum on West Fifty-third Street was pretty much shut down in 1980—it has survived as little more than a shadow of its former existence. Its great collections have been out on loan to other institutions or else locked up in storage, and its program of exhibitions devoted to contemporary art has been radically curtailed. For the youngest generation of artists, therefore, MoMA has been more a myth than a reality, and a significant segment of the art public, too, has come of...


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