Studio Museum in Harlem
|The Studio Museum in Harlem|
|Location||144 West 125th Street, Harlem, New York City, New York, USA|
The Studio Museum in Harlem is an American contemporary art museum in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, New York. It was founded in 1968 as the first such museum in the U.S. devoted to the art of African-Americans, specializing in 19th and 20th century work as well work of artists of African descent. It is located on 125th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. and Lenox Avenue. The scope of the Studio Museum includes exhibitions, Artists-in-Residence program, education and public programming, a permanent collection, and archival and research facilities.
Since opening in a rented loft at Fifth Avenue and 125th Street in 1968, the Studio Museum has earned recognition for its catalytic role in promoting the works of artists of African descent. The Museum's Artists-in-Residence program has supported over ninety graduates who have gone on to highly regarded careers. A wide variety of education and public programs have brought the African-American experience alive for the public by means of lectures, dialogues, panel discussions and performances, as well as interpretive programs, both on- and off-site, for students and teachers. The exhibitions program has also expanded the scope of art historical literature through the production of scholarly catalogues, brochures and pamphlets.
The Studio Museum's permanent collection contains approximately 2000 works, including drawings, pastels, prints, photographs, mixed-media works and installations. It comprises works created by artists during their residencies, as well as pieces given to the Museum to create an art-historical framework for artists of African descent. Featured in the collection is Terry Adkins, Romare Bearden, Skunder Boghossian, Robert Colescott, Melvin Edwards, Richard Hunt, Hector Hyppolite, Serge Jolimeau, Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Wardell Milan, Philome Obin, Betye Saar, Nari Ward and Hale Woodruff, among others. The Museum also is the custodian of an extensive archive of the work of photographer James VanDerZee, the quintessential chronicler of the Harlem community during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
Opened in 1968, in a rented loft located at Fifth Avenue and 125th Streets, The Studio Museum in Harlem has exhibited works by both emerging and established American artists of color. The basic principle leading to its establishment was simple: to create an uptown space focused on art by contemporary African American artists that would be accessible to the community. The museum was created by the Junior Council of the Museum of Modern Art in 1967, in the belief that the African American community should include a museum as part of its everyday experience, and to reflect their interests. Originally, the museum focused on workshops and exhibition programs that were designed to give artists a space to practice their craft, create works and show them. This idea led the trustees of the museum to start an Artist-in-Residence program. The proposal for the studio component of the museum was then written by the African American painter William T. WIlliams, who thought it was important to have black artists working in the Harlem community, and also exhibiting their work in that community. Williams and sculptor Mel Edwards physically cleaned up and prepared the former industrial loft space for conversion into artists studios. After two years of preparation, the museum celebrated the opening of its first exhibition, Electronic Reflections II, featuring works by artist Tom Lloyd, also its first director, in September 1968. Directors since that time have been Edward Spriggs, Courtney Calendar, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Kinshasha Holman Conwill, Lowery Stokes SIms, and Thelma Golden, its current director.The Artist-in-Residence program celebrated its 40th year in 2010. It has helped to cultivate the art making practices and careers of more than one hundred artists, and the museum has fostered the careers of numerous museum professionals as well.
See also 
- Studio Museum in Harlem (official website)