Studio Museum in Harlem–Just the Right Size

If you haven’t been to this little gem of a museum, set aside a day to do so–(maybe the same day you eat lunch at Red Rooster around the corner). building( A stunning building re-designed by the late Max Bond, its five floors provide just enough wall space to display several artists’ work–just enough to satisfy but not to stultify. outsideI visited with my cicerone, artist and friend Mary Lou, to see the works of Kianja Strobert, glorious bursts of color and form strobert_ks1292that often reminded me of my friend’s style.paintins3 Elsewhere in the museum, we came across Titus Kaphar’s Byzantine-like portraits of incarcerated men named Jerome in his powerful “Jerome Project,” meant to “allude to the notion of forgiveness for transgressions.. central to all religions.”


Created to celebrate African-American artists past and present, the Studio Museum’s permanent collection contains masterpieces by Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, photographers Charles Alston and Jules T. Allen and others while also serving as the “custodian of an extensive archive of the work of photographer James VanDerZee, the quintessential chronicler of the Harlem Community from 1906 to 1984.”

VanDerZeeJames_00.11.10( A bargain for everyone at $7, the seniors’ entry fee is an unbelievable $3 and the museum, located at 144 West 125th Street, is open Thursday through Sunday. I’m definitely going back for the VanderZee photos.


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