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From citadel to citizen: a fresh vision for an art world icon


How do you reconnect an outsize art institution to New York City’s vibrant audiences and artists, provoking dialogue, not passive consumption?


Quest: The most engaging museum of modern and contemporary art

Founded in 1929 with the mission of legitimizing and popularizing the art of our times, MoMA had succeeded beyond its wildest dreams. Modern art now draws more crowds than any other. MoMA had risen from art world challenger to undisputed global leader. But its success had disconnected it from the pulse of New York City’s audiences and vibrant art scene.


MoMA had become a bucket list attraction, made to be Instagrammed rather than engaged with.


We needed to help MoMA continue to push the boundaries of what a museum can be and reconnect it to New York City’s vibrant audiences and artists by provoking dialogue, not passive consumption.


Journey mapping among MoMA’s internal and external constituencies, and the creation of cross-functional innovation teams encouraged MoMA to look at the world with fresh eyes. We forced a radical shift in MoMA’s perspective by encouraging it to think of itself as citizen, not citadel, a place for engagement with art, not its passive consumption.



Reimagining the museum experience

We coached a new innovation team and pioneered a new Shark Tank-like process that has resulted in many new initiatives.


This resulted in a partnership with IDNYC card to engage more New Yorkers from all boroughs. It also led to programs directed at bringing in communities of artists to spark conversation and inspire new art.


We stimulated a fundamental change in how MoMA displays its art: Instead of siloing art movements it is now focused on creating dialogue and generating fresh perspectives through provocative juxtapositions. Topical rehanging of its collection, responding to urgent real world events.




An icon as fresh and dynamic as the communities it serves



Growth in artist membership

New members from NYC's outer boroughs

Large increase in positive media coverage focusing on MoMA’s engagement-driven, urgent and timely display of their collection


See more examples of how we’ve helped to transform our clients.