MAAP | Mapping the African American Past

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Kellie Jones on the Studio Museum Harlem
Kellie Jones, Columbia University Professor of Art History and Archeology, describes the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Then
Now

From its beginnings in a rented loft, the Studio Museum in Harlem has shown the work of black artists, including Faith Ringgold’s Street Story Quilt (pictured).

Street Story Quilt,  Parts 1,2 3. 1. The Accident, 2. The Fire, 3. The Home Coming. 1985

The Studio Museum in Harlem is now located at 144 West 125th Street. It shows the work of emerging black artists as well as the work of well-known artists from their permanent collection.

A current view inside the Studio Museum in Harlem

Studio Museum in Harlem

From before this nation was formed, Africans and their descendants have contributed enormously to American culture. But for hundreds of years, they were largely excluded from or overlooked by museums and galleries. The Studio Museum in Harlem was founded to change that. Founded in 1968, its mission has been to serve as “the nexus for black artists locally, nationally, and internationally, and for work that has been inspired by black culture.” It remains the only museum of its kind in the world.

It all began in a rented loft on 125th street. From its beginnings it was more than a museum; it was an exciting place to be. It was a place where black artists could come and work, experiment, see the work of other black artists, and show their work to the public. Through a program called the Artists-In-Residence program, 3 artists per year receive art materials, a stipend (allowance), and space to create their work. The artists work with all types of media including painting, printmaking, sculpture, digital art, photography, sound, and video. Then they exhibit their work in the museum's galleries at the end of the program.

The SMH also shows work from their permanent collection—a growing body of work that has been donated or purchased over the years. This collection includes the work of well-known artists such as Jacob Lawrence. The Museum also holds beautiful photographs by James Van Der Zee, who chronicled the Harlem community from 1906 to 1984.

This entry contributed by Curriculum Concepts International

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Video
Kellie Jones, Columbia University Professor of Art History and Archeology, describes the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Images
The Studio Museum in Harlem is now located at 144 W. 125th Street. It shows the work of emerging black artists as well as the work of well-known artists from their permanent collection.
From its beginnings in a rented loft, the Studio Museum in Harlem has shown the work of black artists, including Faith Ringgold’s Street Story Quilt (pictured).



Produced by CCNMTL, Chase, Teachers College, and CCI