This September 9, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is starting new free early hours in its Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. The move is in effect year-round to turn this private space into a public space each morning.
Visitors will be able to just swing through the open gate on West 54th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Aves) like it’s any other park from 9 to 10:15 am. You could get an early start on viewing sculpture before the museum galleries open at 10:30, or take a coffee before heading out into midtown, an area without too many of these small quiet spaces (although you’re not too far from Central Park).
The current installation is fairly contemplative, being all about modern monuments, from Barnett Newman’s gravity-defying “Broken Obelisk” (1967) created as a tribute to all people, to Picasso’s winding proposal for a memorial to the late poet Guillaume Apollinaire. There’s also Claes Oldenberg’s lively “Geometric Mouse, Scale A” (1975) countering with some whimsy for the duration of his exhibition at MoMA, for some less heavy sculpture for your morning art encounter.