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13.05.2020

The Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm

Moderna Museet ("the Museum of Modern Art"), Stockholm, Sweden, is a state museum for modern and contemporary art located on the island of Skeppsholmen in central Stockholm, opened in 1958. In 2009, the museum opened a new branch in Malmö in the south of Sweden, Moderna Museet Malmö.

History

The museum was opened in 9 May 1958. Its first manager was Pontus Hultén. In May 2010, Daniel Birnbaum became the new director of the museum. He stayed until the end of 2018; Ann-Sofi Noring was named acting director until the formal appointment of Gitte Ørskou as the new director by Amanda Lind. Ørskou began in her new functions in September 2019.

In 2009, the museum opened a new branch in the building previously known as Rooseum in Malmö.

Collection

The museum houses Swedish and international modern and contemporary art, including pieces by Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí and a model of the Tatlin's Tower. The museum's collection includes also key works by artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Louise Bourgeois, Niki de Saint Phalle, Henri Matisse and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as ongoing acquisitions by contemporary artists.

On 8 November 1993, six works by Picasso and two by Georges Braque totaling more than £40m were stolen from the museum in a renowned coup where the burglars came in through the roof by night, copying the method from the 1955 French film Rififi (French: Du rififi chez les hommes). All six of the Picasso paintings and one of the Braque paintings have been recovered.

Visiting the permanent collection is free of charge, but some of the temporary exhibitions has entrance fees.

Pontus Hultén Collection

In 2005, former museum director Pontus Hultén bequeathed over 700 works of art to Moderna Museet, along with his archive and library. A few works of the collection are on display with the museum's permanent collection; many others are exhibited in the purpose-built Pontus Hultén Study Gallery.

Sculpture park

The museum has a sculpture park on the island with works by sculptors of diverse nationalities.

  • The Four Elements, Alexander Calder, 1961
  • Le Paradis fantastique, Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle, 1966
  • Déjeuner sur l'herbe, Pablo Picasso and Carl Nesjar, 1962
  • Monumentalfigur, Christian Berg, 1927
  • Monument över den sista cigaretten, Erik Dietman, 1975
  • Leninmonument 13 april 1917, Björn Lövin, 1977
  • Mannen på templet, Bjørn Nørgaard, 1980
  • Svart svensk granit, Ulrich Rückriem, 1981
  • Pavilion Sculpture II, Dan Graham, 1984
  • Louisa, Thomas M. Woodruff, 1987
  • Freedom and Belief (their own affair), Joseph Kosuth, 1998
  • No title, Per Kirkeby, 1999–2000
  • Instabil, Lars Englund, 2005
  • Närkontakt, Gustav Kraitz, 2008

Architecture

The museum was initially housed in Exercishuset on Skeppsholmen.

In 1994–98, it was temporarily moved to another location, the Spårvägshallarna, in Stockholm while the new building on Skeppsholmen, designed by the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, was built. The Pontus Hultén Study Gallery was designed by Renzo Piano.

Activity

The museum organizes and is a venue for temporary contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year. In 2005, the museum hosted the onedotzero festival bringing a new younger audience to the museum with screenings, installations, talks and live VJ audio-visual events.

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