Studio Museum Harlem
This is one of New York's great neighborhood museums, and it's been on a roll lately with a series of adventurous group shows detailing the far-out regions of black artistic imagination. There was one about Afrofuturism, science fictions, utopia/dystopia in the winter, and on my last visit I saw "When Stars Begin To Fall," about folk and vernacular art and how the visual language of that has influenced "professional" artists. i want to put the last part in quotes because the exhibition as a whole makes you wonder what that even means, especially when the unprofessional work, in many cases, looks better. There's just a freshness or spontaneity or freedom about it that lots of artists have a hard time preserving when they go through the system of schools and galleries and adapt their vision to conventions of mediums and art histories--things that folk artists never have to think about, unless of course they want to--though of course the best artists always manage to do that, and some of them are represented here. I won't detail everything I saw, but one particularly memorable installation was by Jacolby Satterwhite, who framed and hung drawings by his mother (an "outsider artist" of sorts) of strange variations on familiar household objects, over a wallpaper he made of 3D digital renderings of those objects, alive in a raucuously colorful montage landscape that he imagined around them. It felt like the heart of the whole exhibition, a place where the relationship between folk arts and the world of museums was an intimate, familial one of loving kin.
I'd like to give the Studio Museum five stars but the architecture of the galleries is not that great. The central gallery has a plopped-down feeling that makes work installed there feel random, and it's wreathed by a balcony of uneven width. The narrow corridor on the balcony's east side is always used for small shows unrelated to what's going on around it, and the shape of it (one long wall) poses a real challenge for anyone who wants to develop a story in art that's more complex and compelling than a this-then-that, one-after-another sequence. The balcony also casts shadows, or maybe it's just the yellowness of the lights they use that make everything feel dimmed. Anyway, I realize these are not simple problems to solve, and despite them I will keep coming back to the Studio Museums and doing my best to enjoy the great exhibitions here.
Listed in NYC
Nice little Museum.
1) They are free Sunday's. I will not recommend coming here if you have to pay the full price. However, the free Sunday's is awesome.
2) It is a small museum, I was finished with the entire thing within hour.
3) Overall, the exhibits are great. I found it to be unique and wonderful.
It is always free on a Sunday.
It is quite small. There is small upper level with a larger lower level. There is a courtyard that I've never been to.
The gift shop is adorable with exciting knick backs and books. It's a gray place to grab something to decorate your apartment like a coffee table book.
Rock out. Go with the art lovers in your life.
I quite enjoyed the visit to Studio Museum Harlem.
It's a deceptively large gallery space with numerous levels, but not so large it becomes overwhelming. I particularly liked the afrofuturist exhibition that was on when we visited.
Entry is extremely affordable, and the gallery staff were probably the friendliest and most helpful I came across in New York.
There's a gift shop that looked to have a good range of products, but I avoided the temptation to go in (and spend all my money).
Wonderful art gem in the middle of Harlem. Happened to stroll by here this Sunday morning while checking out the street vendors, and saw it was free on Sundays so I decided to take a look. As most others have pointed out it really is an Art gallery more than a museum and not something you would spend more than an hour in really, but what they have is some really fantastic work. Definitely pieces you wouldn't get to enjoy elsewhere. If ever you find yourself in Harlem on a Sunday with some time to spare do yourself the favor of making a stop here.
An excellent experience. It is a very nice facilitate and director and chief curator Thelma Golden knows how to put exhibits together. She came up in my contacts as Golden, Thelma let's just drop the comma from here on out, Golden Thelma puts great things together here!
Really, this place is more like a large gallery than a museum.
There's one big room on the main floor, an alcove, a balcony, and two rooms downstairs.
Right now, the main exhibit is on Romare Bearden and his influence. In general, this museum has much hero-worship of Romare Bearden going on. Which makes sense, since Bearden was arguably the most famous artist associated with the Harlem Renaissance.
There's also an alcove featuring a video installation, and a few works by new, local artists. Downstairs is a chalk-on-chalkboard installation picturing an urban city block (and, umm, they should have sprayed it with fixative so visitors couldn't smudge it all over the place), and a small curated exhibition focusing on expressing identity through fashion.
Definitely worth a visit, but not blow-you-away amazing.
Free admission on Sundays.
I went specifically to see the Gordon Park exhibition but was surprised by all of the other amazing exhibitions they have currently on display. This is not your typical stuffy museum where the art work is just there for you to stare and admire, the displays here are truly thought provoking and focus on subjects that many other places take for granted. They also had an interactive workshop taking place today and I was able to make a collage which I'm planning on hanging on my fridge. The best thing about this place is that it's free every Sunday!
Ok I really really really LOVE it here!
It is more like a gallery, but I'm assuming the "studio" in the name serves to imply the smaller than "massive museum" size.
Anywho, the art selection is thought provoking and infectious enough to make you want to return to view it twice. The staff is definitely friendly and nice, just DO NOT let your grubby children run wild, they will "check you boo" OK, not in that manner, but very curt and professionally.
I hope everyone that visits NYC stops in and checks out Studio Museum Harlem.
**Oh, and lastly I totally had a celebrity spotting--I saw Ms. Thelma Golden!!! *big grin
I was desperately trying to shake off a crappy mood from my horrible breakfast at Amy Ruth's.
A brisk walk around the corner and down the street to "Target Free Sundays" at the Studio Museum was the cure!
I'm such a supporter of this institution that I was willing to pay even though it was free on Sunday, courtesy of Le Target. Studio Museum is small, but definitely historically significant. I try very hard not to miss a trip there when I'm in NYC.
Thelma Golden and staff have done an incredible job with everything from fundraising to innovative and meaningful exhibits. I *loved* the Romare Bearden tribute exhibit (commemorating the artist's 100th birthday) and also getting to see some his original pieces. Cool bonus: Finding a piece in the tribute exhibit from my high school classmate Simone Leigh -- Kenwood Academy, represent!
I had a seat in the lobby before heading out and noticed a stream of people heading to a downstairs area -- they were there for a quilting class! Apparently Studio Museum offers all kinds of classes like this that engage not only people in the neighborhood but around the city--gotta love it.
Again, kudos to Studio Museum for keeping up the great work of preserving the work of African-American art, artists and culture, and providing an outlet for others to experience it. Ashe!
Highlight: First Fridays; The Staff
Hellooo First Fridays!!!!
I have never noticed this museum before although they are smack dab in the middle of 125th street accessible by almost every train.
First Friday happens once a month from 6-9pm and patrons get to browse the museum's collection, collect an $8 drink or few in the lobby and then enter the courtyard to mingle and dance. It is an open minded space and everyone dances, as in everyone, skill level in dance is irrelevant and everyone is sad when the music shuts off promptly at 9.
The staff was wonderful.
Listed in Let's Do Something!
The Studio Museum in Harlem is a great addition to the historical background of 125th street, and is a strong addition to New York City museums in general. The museum has been showing amazing exhibitions, and it well know for their Artist-in-Residence program, giving artists studio place to work in (which springs from the museum's name). Recently they have been showcasing works from their permanent collection, along with exhibitions curated by the staff. The museum also published Studio Magazine, a print version of what's going at the museum as well as news and exhibits around the world. The museum isn't large, but it has quality and character, and demands a visit. Check out their website for upcoming programs and events!
I was in the area and checked this place out - VERY IMPRESSIVE! The location is conveniently located, the staff are real cool, the price is right ($7 versus any other museum in NYC?!) and the collection is sick! I love it! I'm a photog so the take risks work shown left me inspired. The pieces in each collective varied but all were relative to one another - a beautiful thing. The museum is mid-sized and not overwhelming. You can take your time absorbing the work with each artist in this three level venue. I love the design of this place - I will definitely be back on 125th more often to check out the First Fridays - which is free - and to see other exhibitions! Thx for the hospitality SMH!!
Great cultural institution in Harlem.... im happy it exists. They always have a number of really good art and music based events. SUNDAYS ARE FREE - A welcome walk through of bright creative bliss on a sunday afternoon.. 3 floors, mixed media portrait video and sculpture
So this added to my disappointment with my Harlem visit, and maybe disappointment isn't the right word...maybe let down is....
We went to this museum because we read about how it had a photo collection from the famous Harlem Renaissance and I have always been interested in the history behind Harlem so we paid the student price (a whopping $4 ha ha) and got ourselves prepared for a trip back in history to one of the most historic parts of NYC. You could tell just walking through the city streets on the way here how affluent and up and coming Harlem used to be, with nice wide avenues, beautiful brick houses....
So we went around the museum and there was a small collection of modern art from local artists and artists in Africa which was interesting to see. Then we thought we got to the end of the museum but hadn't seen one piece of artwork or photo from the harlem renaissance so we decided to ask one of the curators....
Me: "Excuse me, does this museum still have the photos from the harlem renaissance?"
Me: "Well....where is it?"
Curator: "It is in our permanent collection."
Me: "Oh okay great! Where is that so we can go see it?"
Curator: "It is in storage."
Me: "Ummm...your permanent collection on harlem history is in storage?"
Then we left...enough said I think
More of a gallery than a museum, however, a must-see when visiting Harlem! The permanent collection on ground floor is fun and don't miss the gift store. Sunday's are a great day to go and try to gather some friends for an opening...Good times with art and wine!
I'm really not an art museum person so I don't know if I didn't appreciate half the collection or if it really just over my head. However, it was free on Sunday and they had a special art project. You could make your own button.
I really enjoyed the project and I made only one button at first. Once I entered the collection and realized that I didn't really like it I went back and made several buttons. They provided all the materials and all I had to do was find some creative juices and get to work.
I understand that many people are disappointed when they find the Studio Museum does not house a large permanent collection of classic African American artists. The collections are small curated displays that lean towards the modern and include artists across the African Diaspora. While it would be nice to also have, for instance, a Harlem Renaissance collection-the Studio Museum provides a unique and modern venue for artists and pieces one might not otherwise find. The In Studio magazine is gorgeous, and I have held onto a few of them with outstanding photos from the museum. While perhaps not a destination museum for those with limited time in New York, it is absolutely worth a trip uptown for locals and those who are in the city often. Visit the website to see what is on display and just keep an open mind.
Went and saw the Dawoud Bey exhibit so looked at all they had to offer on their FREE Target Sunday. Museum is small but worth going to at least once if you have not been there. I really liked the Dawoud Bey exhibit very much. There was an array of art there to see not all african american but still appealing to those who like art should go and support.
Listed in Where to get cultured Uptown
Fabulous exhibits and great events. They have networking nights where you party with other professionals in the neighborhood and they used to do film screenings in the outdoor space. Great cultural institution in Harlem.
Listed in trip to NYC for CMJ '07
Um... five stars? Seriously? Are you kidding? The category is "museum"? What's there is good- I thought the painting by Titus Kaphar were really stand out. Unforch, there is no "permanent exhibit" and the whole space takes about fifteen/twenty minutes tops to see. Again, what was there was cool, but I was hoping for more- like a permanent exhibit devoted to the art of the harlem renaissance... Honestly- that's what I was looking for.
Everyone should come here if they're ever in the Harlem/Uptown area. Even if you're not in the area, you should make it a point to visit this museum. Everything about this museum is welcoming - the architecture, the staff. The admission price posted @ the door is $7 dollars for adults, but the concierge explained to us that it's a SUGGESTED $7 donation for adults and a SUGGESTED donation of $3 for seniors & adults. Also, every first Saturday of the month is FREE admission.
The winter installation ended on 3/18/07. This installation, Africa Comics, featured hand-drawn comic strips from all over the African continent. I lucked out & came to the museum on the last day of this installation.
Although the museum will be closed for the next three weeks, the Studio Museum will re-open w/ a new & exciting exhibit PHILOSOPHY OF TIME TRAVEL - What would happen if an inanimate object of the past could exist in the future? This installation will have an opening ceremony on 4/11/07 filled w/ music, drinks and food...according to the very friendly museum rep. :D
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