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Ellsworth Kellyís Three Panels: Orange, Dark Gray, Green (1986) in the current "Focus" installation at MoMA
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Where Are All
the Women?

by Jerry Saltz



This week marks the third anniversary of the Museum of Modern Artís reopening in its sleek new building, and a birthday is as good a time as any to celebrate. The museum has the most stupendous collection of modern painting and sculpture in the world. It is where we go to reconnect with our roots, the place entrusted with presenting the genesis of modernism. MoMA is our fountain of youth, our Garden of Eden, our Promised Land. But all these things will not last much longer if this institution continues excluding women from the display of its permanent collection of painting and sculpture from 1879 to 1969, which lives on the fourth and fifth floors. Everything about this museum rides on the vibrancy and diversity depicted there, and MoMA is allowing that life to drain out. It is slowly turning the history of modernism into a procession of dead presidents and greatest hits, in effect making modern art a gated community and a state religion.

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