In Profile Portraits from the Permanent Collection
Mar 26, 2015 - Jun 28, 2015
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  • Alison Saar

    Caldonia, 1995

    Rusted tin roofing with patina

    12 × 25 × 17 in.

    The Studio Museum in Harlem, gift of Monique Knowlton, New York

  • Mickalene Thomas

    Afro Goddess with Hand Between Legs, 2006


    16 × 20 in.

    Collection of The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum Purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition Committee, gift of Jerome and Ellen Stern, New York

  • Beauford Delaney

    The Picnic, 1940

    Oil on canvas

    25 × 30 in.

    Courtesy Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York

In Profile brings together modern and contemporary works from the Studio Museum’s permanent collection that exemplify certain approaches to portraiture, with a specific focus on works that embody the concept of self-fashioning. “Self-fashioning” refers to a sixteenth-century trend in which European noblemen commissioned portraits to promote their position and status. Here self-fashioning serves to highlight instances of black individuals creating their own images in art. The portraits on view, including paintings, drawings, sculpture and photographs, were each created specifically to record and assert a sitter’s very presence.

The Studio Museum’s permanent collection traces the evolution of the Museum from its inception through the growth of the collection, as well as the expansion of the exhibition and Artist-in-Residence programs. The collection contains more than 2,000 works of art, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, video and mixed-media installations. In Profile, along with the Museum’s other collection exhibitions, provides an opportunity to reflect on the great treasures in the Museum’s care and prompts discussions about art created in the current moment and the past.

In Profile: Portraits from the Permanent Collection is organized by Amanda Hunt, Assistant Curator.

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