Martha Rosler’s Meta-Monumental Garage Sale at the MoMA

Two patrons stand in front of clothing racks at the Meta-Monumental garage sale by Martha Rosler at the MoMA atrium

Everything's Clean, Nothing's Guaranteed at This Garage Sale in NYC

This is a blast; the most fun we’ve had shopping in years. For months now, artist Martha Rosler has been collecting donations of, just about anything, from MoMA staffers, her own personal stash, and the public at large, so that she can throw the ‘Meta-Monumental Garage Sale’ in the main atrium of the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art.

More than 14,000 objects are on sale and haggling is encouraged. You can find everything from a $4,000 Mercedes station wagon (with no engine) to a $318 Buckingham Palace Guard cut-out to a $14 DVD of Elf to a $1.50 Boca Raton fridge magnet, piled high and hung and strewn all about the atrium. It’s just like an actual garage sale, except ‘monumental’ and instead of a yard, garage or front stoop, this one is held in the heart of one of the world’s premiere art museums. We had a great time at the museum garage sale, looking around, laughing and chatting with the red-approned staffers as well as the ‘curator’ artist.   

Glass jewelry display case with items from the Meta-Monumental garage sale at the MoMA

Patron at the MoMA Meta-Monumental Garage Sale looks at a black Mercedes Benz for sale in museum atrium

Something For Everybody at Martha Rosler's Garage Sale

The MoMAs Meta-Monumental Garage Sale and Martha Rosler art exhibition sell everything on a first-come, first-served basis. If you had your heart set on something like the Mercedes, be warned, it could easily get purchased out from underneath you. The Meta-Monumental Garage Sale opened this past Saturday and runs through November 30, well after Black Friday and Cyber Monday so prices are high. But like any garage sale, if you’re patient and willing to dig you can find some real diamonds in the rough like; a horse ribbon, a 1960’s Playboy magazine, or a make-up mirror all second hand. Unlike a traditional garage sale, you may find yourself, ‘do I really want any of this or do I just consider it modern art because I bought it at MoMA?’

Table at the Meta-Monumental Garage Sale by Martha Rosler includes a 1950's black and white wedding album

Visitor to the MoMA Meta-Monumental garage sale thumbs through records

A Garage Sale New York City Contributes To

Everything at the Meta-Monumental garage sale came from the homes and lives of hundreds perhaps thousands of different people, with completely different passions, circumstances, surroundings. Eclectic doesn’t even begin to cover the stunning variety of objects on sale here. Each item was once brand new, purchased or given with a certain degree of thought and care, possibly used in some sort of significant way by an actual person, and maybe even cherished. A perfect example is a beautiful photo album from a 1952 wedding. It’s fun to watch other MoMA patrons approach the exhibition, with some just browsing and treating it as a spectacle, others diving right into full shopping mode, as if they were in a thrift store rather than a museum. 

Children's plastic basketball hoop and shelves with other items at garage sale in MoMA atrium

Meta-Monumental Garage Sale at MoMA

Martha Rosler's Meta-Monumental Garage Sale will be open for business in Museum of Modern Art's main atrium through November 30, on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m., and Friday until 7:30 p.m. It's closed to the public Tuesdays and and on Thanksgiving. All proceeds go to charity. 

High view of the atrium at the MoMA for hte Meta-Monumental Garage Sale by Martha Rosler

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