Who Owns the Museum of Modern Art?

Art|Art Museum

The Museum of Modern Art, or MoMA, is an iconic institution in the modern art world, and it’s a place that many people are familiar with. But who owns the museum? As it turns out, there is no single individual or entity that can claim ownership of MoMA.

The museum was founded in 1929 by three wealthy individuals: Lillie P. Bliss, Mary Quinn Sullivan, and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. Although these three women provided the initial funding for MoMA, they did not own it outright.

Instead, they established the museum as an independent nonprofit organization with its own board of trustees and staff. The board of trustees is composed of eighteen individuals from a variety of backgrounds who are responsible for making decisions about the museum’s operations and policies. The staff includes curators, educators, conservators, and other professionals who work to ensure that MoMA can fulfill its mission to “collect and preserve modern art from around the world.”

The museum is funded through donations from individuals and organizations as well as grants from various foundations and government agencies. It also generates income through ticket sales for exhibitions and special events, royalties on publications and merchandise sales, investments in its endowment fund, and other sources. All of this money goes towards supporting the museum’s operations and programs; none of it is used to pay dividends or profits to any private owners or shareholders.

In addition to its staff and board of trustees, MoMA also works with a number of outside organizations that help support its mission. These include corporate sponsors such as Bloomberg Philanthropies; art foundations such as The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; educational institutions such as Colombia University; media outlets such as The New York Times; philanthropic groups such as The Ford Foundation; arts organizations such as Art Basel; retail partners like Uniqlo; museums around the world such as Centre Pompidou in Paris; corporations like Google Arts & Culture; local businesses like Katz’s Delicatessen; government agencies including New York City Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs; private companies like Goldman Sachs; international partners like Qatar Museums Authority; technology companies like Apple Inc.; professional associations such as AAMC (American Alliance of Museums); tour operators like Big Bus Tours NYC; fashion brands like Gucci Group NV/SA/LLC/GmbH/etc.

; non-profit entities such as Creative Time Projects Inc.; research institutions including Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M Sackler Museum/Harvard University Center For Italian Renaissance Studies/etc. ; financial institutions including JPMorgan Chase & Co.; marketing agencies like Leo Burnett Worldwide Inc./Ogilvy & Mather LLC etc. ; legal firms like Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP etc., among others.

In short, while no single individual or entity can claim ownership of MoMA – not even its founding members – there are numerous entities involved in keeping the Museum afloat: from its staff members to its corporate sponsors to its international partners – all working together to ensure that one of New York City’s most beloved cultural institutions continues to thrive for generations to come.


The Museum of Modern Art does not have a single owner but rather a collective effort between many different individuals, organizations, foundations and companies working together to keep this unique cultural institution alive.