Harlem Postcards: Tenth Anniversary
Nov 11, 2012 - Oct 27, 2013
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  • Tribble & Mancenido
    I Love You, Harlem, 2011
    Courtesy the artists

  • Chitra Ganesh
    Yellow girl, 2009
    Courtesy the artist

  • Anissa Mack
    After the Fact (Rachel and Renée Collins at RiteAid on 125th St.), 2002
    Courtesy the artist

  • Howard Goldkrand
    Information Portrait: Vulcan, Graffiti Pioneer and “Aerosol Kingdom” Legend, Initiator of the Walls of Fame, 106th and Park, 2003
    Courtesy the artist

  • Terence Koh
    my pink ship, harlem, 2004
    Courtesy the artist

  • Petra Lindholm
    Rare Bird, 2005
    Courtesy the artist

  • Kareen Dillon
    Waiting, 2006
    Courtesy the artist

  • Jonathan Calm
    Wagner Runoff #1, 2007
    Courtesy the artist

  • Alani Bass
    Pride, 2008
    Courtesy the artist

  • Sanford Biggers
    142nd St. Mosaic, 2010
    Courtesy the artist

  • Jason Nocito
    Blue Flame, 2012
    Courtesy the artist

Harlem Postcards commissions artists to photograph Harlem, and turns their unique depictions of the neighborhood into free, limited-edition postcards. Begun in 2002, this project was created to provide alternative, multifaceted views of Harlem, representing its complex and diverse history, and capturing the community in a critical moment of growth and change.

This exhibition represents the enormous, yet nuanced range of images created for Harlem Postcards. 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. Mass-produced and widely distributed, postcards function as souvenirs that commemorate visits or vacations. They have also long provided a template for artistic experimentation and correspondence. 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.

Harlem has a rich photographic history, dating back to the work of James VanDerZee (1886‒1983), Roy DeCarava (1919‒2009) and the Kamoinge photography collective, founded in 1963. Over the past decade, this project has continued the legacy of these important artists, engaging the Studio Museum’s ongoing dialogue about the visual history of Harlem.

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