The Studio Museum in Harlem will soon have a dazzling new home dedicated to African-American artists and their work. But that also means an important chapter in the museum's–and the neighborhood's–history is closing. Be a part of it before it's too late!
Next Monday, the Studio Museum will say goodbye to its old space in a grand pre-war building as it prepares for the groundbreaking on its new David Adjaye-designed home–in the very same spot–later this year. (Yes, the old building will go.)
To mark the occasion, the museum will be hosting a four-day-long "Last Look" celebration that ends with special hours on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Events include gallery tours, poetry readings, conversations with artists, performances, art making and more. (The museum will continue to organize exhibits throughout Harlem while it awaits its new home.)
Can't make it to one of the scheduled programs? Stop by at your leisure to see one of the three gem-filled shows that will be closing along with the museum–"Fictions," "Their Own Harlems," and "We Go as They"–and get one last glimpse of the old space, the bottom three floors of a former bank that was gifted to the Studio Museum in 1979 (the 50-year-old museum originally rented a loft on Fifth Avenue near 125th Street).
Yes, it'll be exciting to see David Hammon's "African-American Flag" fly again one day in front of the new building. In the meantime, there's lots to enjoy before the Studio Museum shuts its doors next week, including a few of my favorite pieces in the "Fictions" show:
Amy Sherald's portraits
Last fall Michelle Obama chose Sherald to paint her official portrait, to be revealed sometime early this year. To get a feel for what it might look like, check out Sherald's two mesmerizing paintings at the show, "The Make Believer (Monet's Garden)" and "The Boy with No Past."
Genevieve Gaignard's site-specific installation
Gaignard has created a fictitious little old lady's living room and contrasted it with self-portraits hanging on the walls, but my favorite details are the small black princess figurines that inhabit the space like magical sprites.
Allison Janae Hamilton's "Foresta"
Deer heads, hanging animal fur, old tambourines, birch tree trunks, and fencing masks combine in a dreamlike installation that's meant to evoke the secret gatherings held in the woods of the American South.
Deborah Roberts' "it's All Good," "The Sleepwalkers," and "The Bearer"
These wonderfully graphic collages, mixing images from popular culture and the media, impart both the strength and the sweetness of young black girls.