The Studio Museum in Harlem
Location: 144 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027
The Studio Museum’s building at 144 W. 125th Street is presently closed for construction of a new museum building. Studio Museum 127, their temporary exhibition space, is located at 429 West 127th Street between Amsterdam and Convent Avenues and is open Thursday through Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Studio Museum in Harlem opened in September of 1968 in an 8,700-square foot loft space at 2033 Fifth Avenue, just north of 125th Street. The Studio Museum in Harlem is the hub for artists of African descent locally, nationally and internationally and for work that has been inspired and influenced by black culture, providing a dynamic and open exchange of ideas about art and society at large.
The Studio Museum in Harlem’s permanent collection spans two centuries of history and represents more than 400 artists and includes over 2,200 works including drawings, paintings, photographs, videos, sculptures, watercolors, and mixed-media installations. The collection is a record of the growth of the institution and its activities, including its Artist-in-Residence program.
Each year, the Studio Museum Harlem offers an 11-month studio residency for three local, national, or international emerging artists working in any media. Each of the chosen artists is given access to a free, non-living studio space and a stipend throughout to residency term. Artists have full access to the Studio Museum Harlem's space and are expected to work at least 20 hours per week as well as participate in open studios and local public programs. Upon completion of the residency, each artist’s work is exhibited in the Museum’s galleries. The collection comprises works created by artists during their residencies, as well as pieces were given to the Museum to create a historical framework for artists of African descent. The Studio Museum Harlem is also the custodian of an extensive archive of the work of photographer James VanDerZee, the noted chronicler of the Harlem community during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
The Studio Museum Harlem offers an exciting range of programs and events for people of all abilities and backgrounds designed to foster inquiry, promote dialogue, and inspire. Whatever your age or interest, you'll find that their programs offer a unique blend of perspectives and invite you to explore how contemporary art can ignite the imagination, engage the mind, and reflect our human experience.
In 2015 the award-winning architect David Adjaye — whose firm Adjaye Associates designed the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture — was commissioned to design a new, larger space for the Studio Museum in Harlem, allowing it to further expand its exhibition schedule.
Funding for the new space was a collective effort, with 42 artists that have close ties to the museum donating a total of 42 works. The works were auctioned off through Sotheby's during an event titled 'Creating Space: Artists for the Studio Museum in Harlem: An Auction to Benefit the Museum’s New Building.' The auction supported the construction of the museum’s new home which was collaboratively designed by Adjaye Associates and Cooper Robertson.
To see the Studio Museum in Harlem, use an NYC bus tour package. With a designated bus stop near the attraction, a bus tour is a great way to explore this famous sight.