The Studio Museum in Harlem

Situated in the heart of the flamboyant Harlem district, The Studio Museum in Harlem is one of the premier African-American cultural venues in New York City.

Introduction and History

The Studio Museum in Harlem
In the late 1960's, poverty and social unrest plagued much of the Harlem neighbourhood in New York City. Community leaders, artists and educators pushed for the creation of a cultural centre that would keep youth and young adults out of trouble. Despite having a rich heritage in music and entertainment, Harlem lacked a vibrant arts scene. In 1968, a small loft along 125th Street served as the first official home of The Studio Museum in Harlem. Just under 9,000 square feet was available for gallery displays and exhibits in the converted property. Harlem Artists 69' was the first exhibition at the newly opened museum. In the 1970's, the organization hired well-qualified directors to expand operations on a national scale. The following decade, The Studio Museum in Harlem focused on celebrating the creativity of African-American artists from all over the United States of America. Tradition and Conflict was a major exhibit that fused art with the political and social ideas of the Civil Rights Movement. In the 1990's, the museum acquired various works from artists who had studied in historically blacked colleges and universities. The paintings and other installations make up the organization's permanent collection that's supposed to inspire young African-Americans to seek higher education. The beginning of the 21st century marked a new phase in the museum's outlook on art. For example, there has been a focus on promoting some art with strong African and Caribbean influence. The rapidly changing demographics of New York City have surely influenced the museum's shift in direction.

Collection and Interesting Facts

The Studio Museum in Harlem supports various educational and cultural programs that give underground artists the chance to thrive and break out on a large scale. A residency program gives individuals the chance to hone their skills and obtain other resources that are needed to succeed in the modern arts scene. Upon successful completion of the nearly year-long residency, the artists have the opportunity to display their works in temporary galleries. The growing permanent collection at The Studio Museum in Harlem consists mostly of canvas paintings, watercolours and drawings. Printed photos and sculptures are also on display in some of the permanent galleries. Visitors are also encouraged to explore digital multimedia presentations that cover various topics relating to art in Harlem. Some notable artists who are promoted in the museum include Terry Adkins, Melvin Edwards, Jacob Lawrence and more. These masters have been critically acclaimed in their respective niches on an international scale. For instance, Jacob Lawrence's works can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other top museums nationwide.

Visiting The Studio Museum in Harlem

As the name implies, The Studio Museum in Harlem is nested in the heart of the Harlem neighbourhood in Upper Manhattan. For generations, this densely populated district has been an African-American cultural hub. Located on the same block as the museum, the 125 Street Station is served by the 2 and 3 lines of the New York City subway. These busy rail lines connect Manhattan with Brooklyn and the Bronx. Dozens of Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus stops are accessible within a few blocks of The Studio Museum in Harlem. The cultural landmark is situated just off Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, which is one of the main commercial roads in Harlem. Therefore, you should be able to easily find a parking garage or metered parking space along this busy road that connects the eastern and western parts of the neighbourhood. Served by several commuter train lines, the Harlem-125 Street Station is another notable transportation option near the museum. Trains that stop at this above-ground station go to the affluent Westchester County, NY, and various cities in Connecticut.

Location: 144 W 125th Street (between Malcolm X Boulevard (Lenox Avenue) and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard (7th Avenue)), New York, NY, 10027

Click here to visit The Studio Museum in Harlem official website.

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144 W 125th Street
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