free data from MOMA artists

In February my wife and I were planning a trip to New York City. I stumbled upon an interesting data-set that MOMA had shared with 


What is MOMA?

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) acquired its first artworks in 1929, the year it was established. Today, the Museum’s evolving collection contains almost 200,000 works from around the world spanning the last 150 years. The collection includes an ever-expanding range of visual expression, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, photography, architecture, design, film, and media and performance art…

The Artists dataset contains 15,002 records, representing all the artists who have work in MoMA’s collection and have been cataloged in our database. It includes basic metadata for each artist, including name, nationality, gender, birth year, death year, Wiki QID, and Getty ULAN ID.


What is Data.World?

Explore free public data at Data.World and share insights with others. Check out their tutorials!


What Kind of Art Data?

In this post I’m focusing on Artists.csv. Although has some cool functionality to explore data-sets within their site I’m going to explore the data in Excel.


Download My Excel File

Get my MOMA artists dataset Excel file and follow along.


Artists.csv in Microsoft Excel

Importing artists.csv

The csv was small (980 KB) and didn’t require any clean-up. I imported it directly into a Table.

Adding Slicers

There are 15417 rows of data so I added some slicers to make it easy to filter and explore the artists:

  • Nationality
  • Gender
  • BeginRange (splits ‘BeginDate’ into groups)
  • Name Search (partial name search)
  • ULAN hyperlink (artists with links)
  • Wiki hyperlink (artists with links)

Smart Lookup

Learn more about an artist without leaving Excel by:

  1. select an artist’s name
  2. right mouse click
  3. select ‘Smart Lookup’ !










Adding Hyperlinks

This is Pablo Picasso’s link at

The ULAN field in artists.csv has each artists code. Excel’s hyperlink function can create hyperlinks to the site. I also created hyperlinks to their Wiki page and ‘Google Images’ field runs a google image search. Note that the hyperlinks can be slow.


Finding Artists

My wife and I explored various artists before our trip and during our day at MOMA. 

She liked the art by Brazilian artist Tarsila Do Amaral. We both enjoyed her Exhibit at MOMA. 

I enjoyed various artists including Picasso.






Visit Data.World’s MOMA Data-set

Click here to see Data.World’s MOMA data-set. 


“Excel” Truck in Manhattan?

For a split second I was excited but it was “EXCEL Elevator & Escalator Corp” not Microsoft Excel. 

Regardless, spending a few days in New York City was a lot of fun!





About Me

Me at MOMA in March. It was a fun trip. A few days before we went NYC had a big snowstorm. Hundreds of flights were delayed. When we arrived everything was back to normal, the snow had all melted away and the temperature was perfect! We walked all over Manhattan, took a tour bus, went up the Rockefeller, visited bookstores, restaurants, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and of course we visited MOMA and Guggenheim museums.

My name is Kevin Lehrbass and I live in Markham Ontario Canada. I’m a Data Analyst (if it isn’t already obvious!). 

I’m not sure what to think about this art. What does it mean? Can someone explain it to me?

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