Museums In New York City: The Studio Museum Harlem

November 18, 2013

For a considerable time, the Studio Museum in Harlem was the sole significant cultural institution for art by American artists of African descent. It is still one of the most important museums in NY, and in the world , for art that chronicles the African-American experience, especially although not totally in urban environments. The work demonstrated here includes African-American works and twentieth century Afro-Caribbean pieces, as well as conventional African art and artifacts. The social side of art is obviously on view in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum, as well as a consistent theme of hunting for the African identity in an American context.

The Studio Museum has earned a incredible amount of recognition from the community of museums in New York City, as a whole due to its Artists in Residence program, which permits one or two up and coming studio and gallery artists of African descent to dwell on location while they create. This allows the artists to do their artwork, network with members of the community and begin successful careers as artists. Also, the museum stands in as a heart for the Harlem arts community by hosting panels, lectures, dialogues, classes and performances on a wide range of current affairs related to the African-American experience.

Situated on 125th St, fifteen blocks north of Central Park in Harlem, the Studio Museum is very much an organic product of its neighborhood. This Harlem museum is close to a considerable number of other famous locales, including the legendary Apollo Theater. Down the way, the NY Public Libraryis a few blocks east, and there are also a bunch of parks, including the Morningstar Park and Central Park. The location itself is a ground-breaking landmark, full of plaques and notes of significance. Once a ghetto for liberated slaves and people fleeing the repressive Jim Crow laws in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Harlem changed into a cultural treasure across the 1920s and continues to play a crucial role in African-American culture.

The permanent collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem consists of over 1,600 works by prominent African-American artists, both in the Harlem community and round the country. These artists, including Terry Adkins, Robert Colescott, Melvin Edwards, Hector Hyppolite, Norman Lewis, Lois Mailou Jones, Betye Saar, Nari Ward and others have had an effect on the art world as well as within the bigger African-American community. The basic theme of all the work inside this museum is the Black identity; the museum is an important and fascinating location for anyone with a healthy interest in American history to go visit and take in. Express themes include black liberation politics, dance, expressionism, roots and music, as well as the subjects of fascism, sexism and the urban experience. These subjects may be arguable to some visitors, but they represent a timely, crucial discourse in the wider American culture about the perceptions and roles of African-Americans in it, and it is one of many crucial museums in NY to find out about a spread of concepts, new and old.

Author Tia Dryer and NYC-Museums.org are devoted to bringing website visitors great information on NYC museums. Visit our site for photos, videos, articles, and more.

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