Category: Walking Harlem

The Highbridge Water Tower    Highbridge Park Washington Heights, NYC 10022

The Highbridge Water Tower Highbridge Park Washington Heights, NYC 10022

The Highbridge Water Tower in Highbridge Park

Washington Heights around 174 Street

New York, NY  10022

https://www.nycgovparks.org/planning-and-building/capital-project-tracker/project/5937

https://www.nycgovparks.org/park-features/highbridge-park/planyc

When I was walking through High Bridge Park while exploring Washington Heights for my blog, ‘MywalkinManhattan.com’, I came across the Water Tower inside the park right next to the pool that was closed for the season and the Highbridge Walkway, which used to be the old aqueduct that used to bring fresh water into New York City.

Water Tower at High Bridge Park

The Highbridge Water Tower

The Highbridge Water Tower is nearly 200 feet tall and stands around 174th Street in Washington Heights. The tower used to hold a 47,000 gallon water tank that was fed by the Croton Aqueduct. The Highbridge next to it was the last leg of the aqueduct’s forty mile journey from upstate New York to Manhattan and is the oldest surviving bridge in New York City (T.M.Rives 2012).

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The Highbridge in Highbridge Park

The tower itself was built between 1866-1872 by architect John B. Jervis in the Romanesque Revival and  neo-grec styles and had a seven acre reservoir next to it. It opened in 1872 and was fully working in 1875. In 1949, the Water tower was disconnected from the system. The tower like the rest of the park had sat in disrepair for years and was restored between 1989-1990 (Wiki). The tower is now going through another restoration that should be finished by April of 2021 (NYCParks.com).

When I visited in the park that summer and then again in the Fall, it was behind fencing because it was still unsafe.

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Highbridge Park is beautiful in the Spring and Fall but not the safest park in NYC.

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Walking the paths of Highbridge Park

Highbridge Park is a wonderful park to walk around in in the middle of the day during the warmer months. I would not venture around it later at night or in the winter months. It can be a bit desolate and when you walk around the paths by the river with all the abandoned cars and graffiti can be a bit dangerous. I got some looks when walking around.

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This was at the bottom of the bridge just off the path.

 

American Academy of Arts & Letters     633 West 155th Street New York, NY 10032

American Academy of Arts & Letters 633 West 155th Street New York, NY 10032

American Academy of Arts & Letters

633 West 155th Street

New York, NY 10032

(212) 368-5900

Academy@Artsandletters.org

https://artsandletters.org/

Hours: Thursday-Sunday-1:00pm-4:00pm/Open During Exhibitions times only or by appointment (Mid-March-Mid-April; Mid-May-Mid-June)

Fee: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60763-d548512-r682038708-American_Academy_of_Arts_and_Letters-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I was finally able to visit the American Academy of Arts and Letters on the last day it was open for the year to the public. It was for the ‘Ceremonial Exhibition: Work by New Members and Recipients of Awards’, an exhibition on members art that was chosen specifically for the show. Most of the work was very contemporary and some a little political. It was interesting work by new artists that filled the small gallery rooms.

One of the buildings was used for the contemporary art while the one across the courtyard was used for the more architectural pieces. The galleries are small but the art was impressive. What I liked when I talked with one of the women who worked there said to me that after the show, the pieces would be donated to galleries and museums all over the country. The galleries are only open four months out of the year and this was the last day of the exhibition so the work being shown will be gone.

Some of the pieces that really stood out were by Judith Bernstein, a contemporary painter who seems to not like the current administration too much. The themes were on power and money and corruption in the administration. Her work really shows what she personally thinks of  our President. Her ‘Trump Genie” was very clever and I can see this in a major museum in the future.

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Judith Bernstein’s work

Other work in the main gallery were by artists Stephen Westfall with ‘Solid Gone’, Hermine Ford with ‘Paris, France’ and Paul Mogensen with several ‘Untitled’ pieces. The contemporary works I was not sure what the meaning of them were but they were colorful.

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The works of the artists of the front gallery

One of the pieces in the front gallery that really stood out was by artist Francesca Dimattio, ‘She-wolf’ which was a classic Greek character made of porcelain, enamel, paint and steel.

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‘She-wolf’ by Francesca Dimattio

There were light installations that were very interesting by artist James O. Clark. He had one piece, ‘Wunnerful, Wunnerful’,  which is a work that just keeps being creating itself by bubbles and ink markers moving along a turntable that stops and starts.

There was a permanent exhibition of Charles Ives home in Connecticut that was transported and recreated here. His studio and works are featured here as well as his family life. There are copies of his works in the display cases and his career.

When it is open, the galleries are very interesting filled with works of new artists being featured. Now you just have to wait until March of 2020.

About:

The American Academy of Arts & Letters was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers and writers. Charter members include William Merritt Chase, Kenyon Cox, Daniel Chester French, Childe Hassam, Henry James, Theodore Roosevelt, Elihu Vedder and Woodrow Wilson. The Academy;s 250 members are elected for life and pay no dues.

In addition to electing new members as vacancies occur, the Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theater and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country.

Collections:

The Academy’s collection, which are open to scholars by appointment, contain portraits and photographs of members, as well as paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and decorative art objects. The library has more than 25,000 books by or about members. The archives house correspondence with past members, press clippings, institutional records and original manuscripts of musical and literary works.

History:

The National Institute of Arts & Letters, the parent body of the Academy, was founded in 1898 for “the advancement of art and literature”. The Institute met for the first time in New York City in February 1899 and began electing members that fall. Architects, artists, writers and composers of notable achievement were eligible and membership was soon capped at 250. In 1913, President Taft signed an act of Congress incorporating the organization in the District of Columbia.

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American Academy of Arts & Letters

In 1904, The Institution created the American Academy of Arts & Letters, a prestigious inner body of its own members that modeled itself on the Academie francaise. The first seven members of the Academy were William Dean Howells, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Edmund Clarence Stedman, John La Farge, Mark Twain, John Hay and Edward MacDowell. Those seven then chose eight more and so on, until the full complement of 30 and later 50 was reached. Only after being elected to the Institute, was a member eligible for elevation to the Academy. This bicameral system of membership continued until 1993, when the Institute dissolved itself and all 250 members were enrolled in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Academy inaugurated its annual awards program in 1909 with the Gold Medal for Sculpture. Since then, over 70 awards and prizes have been endowed through gifts and bequests or established by the Academy’s board of directors in the fields of architecture, art, literature and music. There are conferred each year at the Ceremonial in May when new members are inducted and a distinguished speaker is invited to deliver the Blashfield Address.

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In 2005, the Academy purchased the former headquarters of the American Numismatic Society, the neighboring building on Audubon Terrace. A Glass Link now connects the Academy’s existing galleries to newly renovated ones in the former Numismatic building. These new galleries house the permanently installed Charles Ives Studio.

(The Academy of Arts & Letters Website)

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem      58 West 129th Street, Ground Floor      New York, NY 10027

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem 58 West 129th Street, Ground Floor New York, NY 10027

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem

58 West 129th Street, Ground Floor

New York, NY  10027

http://www.jazzmuseuminharlem.org

http://jazzmuseuminharlem.org/

https://www.facebook.com/nationaljazzmuseum/

(212) 348-8300

Suggested donation of $10.00 but whatever you can give.

Open: Sunday-Monday: 11:00am-5:00pm/Tuesday-Wednesday Closed/Thursday-Saturday: 11:00am-5:00pm

Fee: Free with Donation

Founded in 1997

Transportation: Subway 2 or 3 to 125th Street and then walk up to 129th Street

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d6953125-Reviews-The_National_Jazz_Museum_in_Harlem-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I came across this little museum when I was touring Central Harlem. This museum is more like a small gallery and it is dedicated to the history of jazz in Harlem. The front section is set up like someone in Harlem’s salon with furniture from the era and sheet music from the artists. The look is based on ‘Rent Parties’ that people used to have to bring their friends over to help pay the monthly rent. The back section of the museum is dedicated to jazz and related music with a sitting area and pictures all over the wall of different era’s including the new artists of today. Jazz music plays throughout.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem

The Mission of the Museum:

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, a Smithsonian Affiliate,  preserves, promotes and presents jazz by inspiring knowledge, appreciation and celebration of jazz locally, nationally and internationally.

It is the thriving center for jazz that stimulates hearts and minds and reaches out to diverse audiences to enjoy this quintessential American music. The museum was founded in 1997 by Leonard Garment, Counsel to two U.S. Presidents and an accomplished jazz saxophonist, Abraham D. Sofaer, a former U.S. District Judge, who gave the initial gift in honor of his brother in law, Richard J. Scheuer and matching funds from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone.

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Displays inside the museum

The Museum is committed to keeping jazz present and exciting in the lives of a broad range of audiences: young and old, novice and scholar, artist and patron, enthusiast and curious listener. From its new location in the center of Harlem, the Museum serves the local community and welcomes visitors from across the U.S. and internationally.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem’s vision is to establish a permanent home in Harlem for collections, programs and performances that stimulate creativity and excitement about the past, present and future of jazz and its artists (The Jazz Museum in Harlem vision statement-pamphlet).

In 2013, an exciting new era began for the Museum. We created and implemented a new strategic plan that made education central to our mission. The Museum now offers year-round educational programs for students of all ages. We also developed a new membership program with exclusive content and benefits to reach out to the worldwide jazz community.

National Jazz Museum of Harlem

The inside of the National Jazz Museum of Harlem

In 2015, after 15 years at the East Harlem location, we moved to 58 West 129th Street in Central Harlem. Our new space is designed to give our visitors an immersive jazz experience, in the heart of what has become Harlem’s new cultural and entertainment district. The ultimate, long-term goal is to secure a permanent home in Harlem with space enough to showcase Harlem’s vast contributions to jazz, American music and world history.

Each year, the Museum produces and presents more than 80 free programs in New York City, engaging hundreds of professional jazz artists and reaching nearly 20,000 people from around the world. The Museum is a hub for live performances, exhibitions and educational programs. It is also home to our widely acclaimed Savory Collection, which includes more than 100 hours of live recordings of jazz legends made from New York City radio broadcasts aired between 1935 and 1941 (Wiki site and Museum website).

National Jazz Museum of Harlem III

The current exhibition is Vi*bra*tion: The history of Jazz from Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis: Their Work and Harlem Air Shaft (large musical manuscripts on the wall).

The Leadership of the Museum is under musicians Jonathan Batiste, Co-Artistic Director and Christian McBride, Co-Artistic Director.

 

The Studio Art Museum in Harlem         144 West 125th Street                                New York, NY 10027

The Studio Art Museum in Harlem 144 West 125th Street New York, NY 10027

The Studio Art Museum in Harlem

144 West 125th Street

New York, NY 10027

(212) 864-4500

https://studiomuseum.org/

http://www.studiomuseum.org

Hours: Thursday-Sunday: 12:00pm-5:00pm/Closed: Monday-Wednesday-Closed

Fee: Donation

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d116230-Reviews-The_Studio_Museum_in_Harlem-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

The Museum:

The Studio Museum in Harlem is the nexus for artists of African descent locally, nationally and internationally and for work that has been inspired and influenced by black culture. It is a site fro the dynamic exchange of ideas about art and society.

The Studio Museum of Harlem III

The Studio Museum of Harlem

History:

The Studio Museum in Harlem was founded in 1968 by a diverse group of artists, community activists and philanthropists, who envisioned a new kind  of museum that not only displays artwork but also supports artists and arts education. The Museum was originally located in a rented loft at 2033 Fifth Avenue, just north of 125th Street. Renowned architect J. Max Bond Jr. led a renovation that adapted the building into a two level exhibition space with offices and space for rental tenants.

The Studio Museum of Harlem II

The Galleries at The Studio Museum in Harlem

In 1985, the Museum began excavation of an adjacent vacant lot  at 142 West 125th Street, leased from the City of New York. Over the following two decades, the Museum, in partnership with the City, completed additional renovations to the building and lot and added additional gallery and lobby space, a theater and a flexible outdoor space. The Museum has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) since 1987, when it became the first black or Latino institution to gain this recognition.

The Studio Museum in Harlem is internationally known for its catalytic role in promoting the works of artists of African descent. The Artist-in-Residence program was one of the Museum’s founding initiatives, and gives the Museum the “Studio” in its name.  The program has supported more than one hundred emerging artists of African or Latino descent, many of whom who have gone on to establish highly regarded careers. Alumni include Chakia Booker, David Hammons, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Wangechi Mutu, Mickalene Thomas and Kehinde Wiley.

Studio Art Museum of Harlem

The Rico Gatson exhibition in 2018

The Studio Museum serves as a bridge between artists of African descent and a broad and diverse public. A wide variety of programs bring art alive for audiences of all ages-from toddlers to seniors-through talks, tours, art-making activities, performances and on and off-site educational programs. Museum exhibitions expand the personal, public and academic understanding of modern and contemporary art by artists of African descent. The Studio Museum is a leader in scholarship about artists of African descent, publishes Studio magazine twice yearly and regularity creates award-winning books, exhibition catalogs and brochures.

The Museum’s permanent collection includes nearly two thousand paintings, sculptures, watercolors, drawings, pastels, prints, photographs, mixed-media works and installations dating from the nineteenth century to the present. The Museum’s Acquisition Committee facilitates the growth of the collection through donations and purchases. Artists in the collection include Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Chris Ofili, Betye Saar, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker and Hale Woodruff as well as many former artists in residence. The Museum also is the custodian of an extensive archive of the work of photographer James VanDerZee, the quintessential chronicler of the Harlem community from 1906 to 1983. The Museum does not have a permanent exhibition of work from its collection but frequency shows selections in temporary exhibitions.

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The current exhibitions are wonderful and include:

Regarding the Figure

Rico Gatson Icons 2007-2017

Jamel Shaazz Crossing 125th

All them are compact exhibitions and you will need about two hours to see everything at the museum (See TripAdvisior review).

 

Public transit access:

Subway: 2 & 3 to 125th Street

Bus: M7, M60, SBS, M100, M102, BX15 buses

Website: studiomuseum.org (http://studiomuseum.org)

Folks, please don’t miss this gem of a museum in your travels to NYC in a very quickly gentrifying Harlem (See ‘MywalkinManhattan’ site for more details).