Modern Art

Modern art is work created from around 1880 up until the 1970s, see below for more information on a selection of important movements from this period.

Some characteristics of Modern art include visible brush strokes, abstracted forms, unrealistic colors, simple shapes as subject matter, using non-traditional methods or materials, and expressing inner feelings and visions in an innovative way instead of literally representing a subject.

The term Contemporary art usually refers to artwork from our present time and is not interchangeable with the term Modern art.

Museums and Centers Resources

Art Nouveau
Surrealism & Symbolism

Dali, Salvador
Escher, MC
Klimt, Gustav
Magritte, Rene
Matisse, Henri
Monet, Claude
O'Keeffe, Georgia
Picasso, Pablo
Van Gogh, Vincent
Warhol, Andy

See also: Contemporary Art, Periods and Movements

Museums and Centers

Painting and sculpture, drawing, prints and illustrated books, architecture and design, film and media in The Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection.

Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art
View painting, drawing, sculpture, decorative arts, design, and architecture from around 1900 to the present day, primarily by European and American artists in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

From the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, this site displays close to 500 works in all media from Arts and Crafts to Art Deco.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, site has a searchable database of over 2,000 works.

Modern Art Oxford
Temporary exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in South East England.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Collects and exhibits modern and contemporary art.

Irish Museum of Modern Art
National institution for the collection and presentation of over 4,500 works of modern and contemporary art.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Presents a collection of close to 2,600 objects of post–World War II art in all media.

The Art Institute of Chicago: The Collection: Modern
Collection of around 1000 works of modern art by artists from Europe and the Americas, over 300 selected works are viewable online.

Tate Modern
International modern and contemporary art museum.

San Jose Museum of Art
Permanent collection of around 1,400 twentieth and twenty-first century works, highlights from the collection are shown online.


The Roots of Modernism
A five part essay on the history of modernism by Professor Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe.

Wikipedia: List of Modern Painters
Painters listed here have played an important role in the history of modern art. Research Resources
Information about the museum's library, archives, and study centers, includes an online searchable catalog.

Wikipedia: Modernism
Describes the history of modernism, its goals and the movements that emerged from it.

Impressionism & the Making of Modern Art
From the Princeton Writing Program, this site explores the development of Impressionism in France and its influence on American Impressionism as well as Post Impressionism, Fauvism and early Cubism.

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