In fall of 2008, The Studio Museum in Harlem was the second stop for the first career retrospective of renowned African-American painter Barkley L. Hendricks (b. 1945). Hendricks was born in Philadelphia, trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Yale University and now lives and works in New London, Connecticut. He is best known for his life-size portraits of people of color living in urban areas in the 1960s and 70s. This unparalleled exhibition of Hendricks’s paintings included work from 1964 to the present. Alongside his iconic portraits, Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool will feature many of Hendricks’s lesser known, older works and his newest pieces: small plein air studies of the Jamaican landscape. This exhibition was organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and was curated by Trevor Schoonmaker. After it left the Studio Museum, the exhibition traveled to the Santa Monica Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
This exhibition is sponsored in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and the North Carolina Arts Council with funding from the state of North Carolina.