Gordon Parks: A Harlem Family 1967 honors the legacy and the work of late iconic artist and photojournalist Gordon Parks, who would have turned 100 on November 30, 2012. The exhibition, organized by Thelma Golden and Lauren Haynes, will feature approximately thirty black and white photographs of the Fontenelle family, whose lives Parks documented as part of a 1968 LIFE magazine photo essay. A searing portrait of poverty in the United States, the Fontenelle photographs provide a view of Harlem through the narrative of a specific family at a particular moment in time. This intimate exhibition will include all images from the original essay as well as several unpublished images—some which have never been displayed publicly before.
Harlem Postcards: Tenth Anniversary represents the enormous, yet nuanced range of images created for the Museum's signature project series. While many artists have been drawn to the visual vibrancy of Harlem—from its architecture to its colorful commercial goods—others seek to reveal its surprising, less familiar corners, or focus on the histories of Harlem's different communities. Aiming the camera at the sidewalk, the storefront and the sky, artists have reinvented the notion of what belongs on a postcard, and what it means to represent a neighborhood to those who do not live there. Celebrating the creativity of artists within the set limitations of 4 by 6 inches, this installation displays the postcards as aesthetic rather than functional objects.
Remembering Merton D. Simpson
The Studio Museum in Harlem would like to acknowledge the passing of artist Merton D. Simpson (1928–2013). Simpson was a part of Spiral, a collective founded in 1963, and was exhibited widely individually and with fellow Spiral artists.
An early and avid collector and dealer of African art, Simpson was inspired by the formal elements of African sculptural objects, which he uses to create powerful abstract paintings featuring bold color and broad, roughly painted geometric forms. Among Simpson's best known works are the primarily black-and-white figurative paintings in his "Confrontations" series, created throughout the 1960s in response to the social and political turmoil of the Civil Rights Movement.
Simpson was the recipient of many awards and honors, including a South Carolinian Library Research Archives Award (1984); an honor at The Studio Museum in Harlem's 2002 Fall Gala; and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the College of Charleston in South Carolina (2010). His many solo and group exhibitions include Younger American Painters at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Watercolor Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (both 1954); The Journey of an Artist at the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina (1995); Confrontations at the Greenville Museum, Greenville, South Carolina (2010); and Spiral: Perspectives on an African-American Art Collective at the Studio Museum (2011). His work is in the collections of the Romare Bearden Foundation, New York; the Detroit Art Institute; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, among others.
He will be missed.
David Hartt: Stray Light was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, where it was curated by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator. Support for this exhibition is generously provided by the Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Family Foundation. The presentation at The Studio Museum in Harlem was organized by Thomas J. Lax, Assistant Curator.
Gordon Parks: A Harlem Family 1967 is supported by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
The Studio Museum in Harlem's permanent collection is supported with public funds from the following government agencies and elected representatives: The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and Council Member Inez E. Dickens, 9th Council District, Speaker Christine Quinn and the New York City Council.
(left, from top to bottom) David Hartt, Award Room, 2011. Courtesy the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago / Gordon Parks, Untitled (Harlem, New York), 1967. Courtesy and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation/ Merton D. Simpson via www.mertonsimpsongallery.com
(right, from top to bottom): Beauford Delaney, Untitled Abstraction, 1964. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Gift of Addie Herder 01.2.1/ Fore (exhibition catalogue). Cover image: Jessica Vaughn, Diamond (detail), 2012. Courtesy the artist.
Upcoming at the Studio Museum
Thursday, March 21, 2013 5pm:At the orientation you will learn more about the Studio Museum, meet the Education staff and learn about our various volunteer opportunities. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm, March 18.
Thursday, March 28, 2013 10am:Open House for Educators Educators are invited to preview the Spring 2013 exhibition for a self-guided tour of the exhibitions, and learn about programs that will help teachers use the museum as a teaching tool. Don't miss this great opportunity to learn about resources for educators, upcoming programs, and opportunities for your school!
7pm: The Artist's Voice: Dr. Elizabeth Alexander in Conversation with David Hartt Please join the Studio Museum for a conversation between Yale University professor Dr. Elizabeth Alexander and artist David Hartt. The conversation will take place in conjunction with the Studio Museum's presentation of Hartt's Stray Light.
Target Free Sundays: March 31, 2013 1pm: Gallery Tour: Brothers and Sisters Enjoy an interactive and informative tour of Brothers and Sisters, a cross-generational exhibition that examines the relationships between a selection of Beauford Delaney's (1901-1979) paintings and prints made between 1958 and 1969, and works in The Studio Museum in Harlem's permanent collection.
2pm: Hands On: Artworks and Titles In this art workshop, participants will be challenged to work backwards, and create a work of art inspired by a title! Select from a variety of artwork titles and create a watercolor painting based on how the title inspires you!
Things We Love
The catalogue for our critically-acclaimed Fall/Winter 2012–13 exhibition, Fore. The catalogue includes a foreword by Thelma; three essays by the organizers of Fore, Lauren Haynes, Naima J. Keith and Thomas J. Lax, Assistant Curators at the Studio Museum; in-depth artist essays written by 29 scholars; and full-color illustrations.