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Modern Art

1978.404 Maria Elena Vieira Da Silva Composition
Maria Elena Vieira da Silva. Composition, 1936/37. Bequest of Maxine Kunstadter.

The collection of modern art (1900–1950) consists of nearly 700 paintings, sculptures, and sculptural objects covering all major European movements of this revolutionary period, when artists not only questioned how art had looked for centuries but also what an artwork could be. Highlights include some of the 20th century’s most iconic paintings, such as Vasily Kandinsky’s Improvisation No. 30 (Cannons), Henri Matisse’s Bathers by a River, and Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist, as well as outstanding works by Constantin Brâncusi, Marcel Duchamp, Natalia Gontcharova, Fernand Léger, Kazimir Malevich, and Gabriele Münter. The collection is likewise regarded as one of the world’s great centers for the research and display of Surrealism, featuring extraordinary holdings by Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington, Joseph Cornell, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Wifredo Lam, René Magritte, Roberto Matta, and Joan Miró, among others.

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