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This Summer, I...

Summer 2013 Curatorial Intern Martha Scott Burton reflects on her time at Studio Museum

  • Summer 2013 Curatorial Intern Martha Scott Burton
    Photo: Scott Rudd

One of Studio Museum’s many partners is the ARTS Intern program, developed by the nonprofit organization Studio in a School, through which college undergraduate students from diverse cultural backgrounds gain work experience at some of New York’s most exciting and influential institutions.  It is through this program that I have had the privilege of working as a Curatorial Intern over the past 9 weeks at the Studio Museum—certainly one of my most rewarding and educational experiences to date.
Growing up in a small Midwestern town (one of the many Springfields in Tornado Alley) with the closest major art institution over 4 hours away, I thought art history majors necessarily became teachers. But after moving to the city, where museums, galleries and auction houses are abundant, and after working at the Studio Museum, whose mission is pursued with singular energy, a whole new world opened up, almost at a flashpoint. 

Collection Highlight

Houston Conwill's The Joyful Mysteries (1984–2034 A.D.)

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  • Houston Conwill
    The Joyful Mysteries (1984–2034 A.D.), 1984
    The Studio Museum in Harlem; Gift of the artist 91.6a–g

     

    Also pictured (on wall):
    Tom Lloyd
    Narokan, 1965
    The Studio Museum in Harlem; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Darwin K. Davidson 88.3

    Photo: Adam Reich

  • Houston Conwill
    The Joyful Mysteries (1984–2034 A.D.), 1984
    The Studio Museum in Harlem; Gift of the artist 91.6a–g

The Joyful Mysteries (1984–2034 A.D.) (1984) are seven bronze time capsules created by Houston Conwill (b. 1947) and contain confidential testaments by seven distinguished black Americans: visual artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988); historian Lerone Bennett, Jr. (b. 1928); the first African-American mayor of Gary, Indiana, Richard Gordon Hatcher (b. 1933); attorney, activist and current United States Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (b. 1937); writer Toni Morrison (b. 1931); and opera singer Leontyne Price (b. 1927). The capsules will be opened in September 2034, fifty years after their creation. The time capsules were originally buried in the Studio Museum’s sculpture garden on August 12, 1984 with the assistance of ten New York City school children and were moved to their current location on the Museum's lower level in March 2013.

Looking Back

History on Paper

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  • Studio Museum in Harlem Proposal Booklet, 1968

  • Exhibition announcement with checklist for Elizabeth Catlett: Prints and Sculpture, 1972

  • Exhibition announcement for Romare Bearden: The Prevalence of Ritual, 1972

  • Press release for Beauford Delaney: A Retrospective, 1978

  • Artists in Residence brochure, 1979

  • Exhibition announcement for I Remember Norman: A Memorial Exhibition for Norman Lewis, 1980

  • Exhibition announcement for The Sound I Saw: The Jazz Photographs of Roy DeCarava, 1983

  • Exhibition announcement for Tradition and Conflict: Images of a Turbulent Decade (1963-1973), 1985

  • Artists in Residence brochure, 1992-93

  • Education brochure for Afro-Caribbean Culture: The World of Wifredo Lam, 1992-93

As a Curatorial Intern at the Studio Museum in Harlem, it has been exciting to work behind the scenes as part of the planning process of exhibitions supporting the Museum’s mission as a site for the dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society. One of my favorite moments during my internship happened when I first glimpsed into the archives of earlier exhibitions that have happened here. Brochures, pamphlets, and other didactic materials used in promoting the exhibitions on view are meant to be taken by visitors for additional information, but are not necessarily made to be kept. The ephemeral nature of these materials, often printed on paper and easily recyclable, means that they are not often saved long enough to be able to review at a later period.

Winter/Spring 2013 Issue of Studio Magazine

  • Studio Winter/Spring 2013 covers

    (left): Kianja Strobert, Untitled (detail), 2012. Courtesy the artist and Zach Feuer, New York

    (right): David Hartt, Lounge, 2011. Courtesy the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago

The latest issue of Studio is now available at the Museum, as a viewable e-book here or as a downloadable PDF here!

This issue includes covers by artists Kianja Strobert and David Hartt; a conversation between David Hartt, Thelma Golden and Thomas J. Lax about his upcoming Spring 2013 exhibition at Studio Museum; an introduction to our 2012-13 Artists in Residence; a report from dOCUMENTA (13); and commentaries on inspiration from the artists featured in Fore.

 

Kwanzaa Community Quilt Project 2011

  • Kwanzaa Community Quilt Project 2011–12
    Photo: Sophia Bruneau

Visit the Museum Store now through December 31, 2012 to view the culmination of the 2011 Kwanzaa Community Quilt Project. Members and visitors to the Studio Museum began constructing the quilt December 2011 during Target Free Sunday workshops to celebrate the core Kwanzaa values of Culture, Creativity, and Unity. Interest grew and the project continued until August 2012 under the volunteer leadership of Ife Felix, founding member of the Harlem Girls Quilt Circle. We hope all will enjoy this labor of love and community.

Robert S. Duncanson

An Antebellum African-American Artist

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  • Robert S. Duncanson
    Landscape Mural (depicting a wilderness scene with twisting, rotting tree trunks and a swiftly flowing river), ca. 1850-52
    Courtesy Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati
     

  • Robert S. Duncanson
    Landscape Mural (with gently flowing river flanked by two trees), ca. 1850-52
    Courtesy Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati

  • Robert S. Duncanson
    Land of the Lotus Eaters, 1861
    Courtesy Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati

  • Foyer of the Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Courtesy Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati

There are only two weeks left to see a fantastic exhibition here in New York City: Robert S. Duncanson: An Antebellum African-American Artist, on view at Columbia University’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery through December 8.

Frieze London 2012

Artist Highlights

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  • Lorna Simpson
    Untitled (Ebony and Jet), 2012 and details
    Photos: Katherine Finerty

  • Chris Ofili
    Golden Angel One, 2012 and Golden Angel Three, 2012
    Photos: Katherine Finerty

  • Chris Ofili
    Ovid-Callisto, 2011-12 and Untitled, 1998-99
    Photos: Katherine Finerty

  • Isaac Julien
    Yishan Island, Voyage (Ten Thousand Waves), 2011
    Photo: Katherine Finerty

  • Lynette Yiadom-Boakye
    [L-R]: Clarity in Waiting, 2012, Songs in the Head, 2012 and Oyster, 2012
    Photos: Katherine Finerty

  • Theaster Gates
    Horizon, 2012 and Urban Particulate, 2012
    Photos: Katherine Finerty

  • Julie Mehretu
    [L-R]: Untitled, 2002, Untitled, 2002 and Untitled, 2002
    Photos: Katherine Finerty

  • Mark Bradford
    Spiders Feet, 2012 and detail
    Photo: Katherine Finerty

This past month London was bustling with art openings, projects, and performances, all a part of a phenomenon known as “Frieze.” From October 11–14, Regent’s Park played host to the Frieze art fair, presenting over 170 international contemporary galleries as well as a prestigious program of artist commissions and talks. Now in its tenth edition, Frieze London continues to be one of the art highlights of the year, generating a week filled with not only lucrative transactions, but also creative expression and critical awareness.

Notably, works by many Studio Museum in Harlem artists were prominently featured throughout the fair grounds. Here are some highlights of pieces by artists involved at the Museum, either through being represented in our Permanent Collection or having participated in our acclaimed Artist-in-Residence program. Enjoy!

Fall/Winter 2012–13 Exhibitions and Projects will now open Sunday, November 11th

*UPDATE*

Due to the recent weather conditions, The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Fall/Winter 2012–13 Exhibitions and Projects, including Fore and Gordon Parks: A Harlem Family 1967, will now open on November 11, 2012, instead of November 8, as previously announced. We look forward to updating you soon with more news.

The Museum staff and board send best wishes for the safety and well-being of all our friends, neighbors and colleagues.
 

In Conversation with Kura Shomali

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  • Kura Shomali
    Untitled (Boxeur), 2011-2012
    Courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery

  • Kura Shomali
    Sans titre (L'homme à la fleur), 2011
    Courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery

  • Kura Shomali
    Untitled (Malik), 2011
    Courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery

  • Kura Shomali
    Untitled, 2011
    Courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery

  • Kura Shomali
    Untitled, 2011
    Courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery

  • Cassius Clay Ali Boom Boom Ye (installation view), 2012
    Courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery

For Kura Shomali, an artist living and working in Kinshasa, Congo, L’art est une camisole et je ne sais comment la porte; une peur intérieure de ne pas pouvoir répondre aux peurs collectives. Seul l’art pourra l’apaiser.

"Art is a straight jacket and I do not know how to wear it; an inner fear of not being able to meet the collective fears. Only art can soothe."

Dispatch from dOCUMENTA (13)

Will Rawls in Conversation with Thomas J. Lax

Dancer and choreographer Will Rawls (b. 1978) recently finished performing in British-German artist Tino Sehgal’s (b. 1976) This Variation, in dOCUMENTA (13). Founded in 1955 in the wake of World War II, documenta is an exhibition of international contemporary art occurring every five years in Kassel, Germany. In This Variation, audience-members enter a darkened room in Hugenottenhaus, a disused building in Kassel constructed by migrant workers in the early nineteenth century. A group of contemporary dancers, singers, musicians, physical theater actors and a mime respond with sounds, speech fragments and movement phrases, what Rawls calls a “dramaturgy of events”. The work is made live, as the order, volume, and direction of the dramaturgy are decided by and communicated amongst the dancers in direct response to the audience.