Tag: Exploring Harlem

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.

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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).

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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.

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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).

General Grant National Memorial      122nd Street and Riverside Drive          New York, NY 10027

General Grant National Memorial 122nd Street and Riverside Drive New York, NY 10027

The General Grant National Memorial

122nd Street and Riverside Drive

New York, NY 10027

(212) 666-1640

https://www.nps.gov/gegr/index.htm

http://www.nps.gov/gegr

Hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 9:00am-5:00pm/Closed Monday-Tuesday/Check for tour times on site.

Fee: Donation

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d105812-Reviews-General_Grant_National_Memorial-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

A Grateful Nation:

The Grant Memorial was designed by architect John Duncan. Rising to an imposing 150 feet from the bluff overlooking the Hudson River, it took 12 years to build and remains the largest mausoleum in North America. Its  great size was meant to express the profound admiration Americans felt for the Civil War commander and was propelled to the forefront of America’s pantheon of heroes and declared the equal of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Grant's Tomb

Spearheaded by the Grant Monument Association, some 90,000 people from around the United States and the world donated over $600,000 to construct the memorial, the largest public fundraising effort up to that time. Initial fundraising was led by Richard T. Greener, first black graduate of Harvard and a Grant supporter who credited the general with his advancement. Many African Americans contributed to the building fund.

The memorial is open from 9:00am-5:00pm daily. For information or to arrange for group visits call (212) 666-1640.

Among the most Revered of Men:

This large classically proportioned mausoleum honors the Civil War general who saved the nation from dissolution and the president who worked to usher in a new era of peace and equality for all Americans. Ulysses S. Grant, a plain-spoken unassuming man who studiously avoided pomp and ceremony had volunteered his services for the Union effort when the Civil War erupted in 1861. In doing what he considered simply his duty, he emerged after four years of fighting as one of the great military leaders in history. Aggressiveness, speed, tenacity and the ability to adjust his plans in the face of unexpected impediments all helped to bring him victory.

General Ulysses S. Grant

General U. Grant

As great as he was in war, Grant showed magnanimity and compassion in peace. He granted humane and generous terms when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to him on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Court House. As president he pardoned many former Confederate leaders at the same time insisting on protecting the full political equality of former slaves. He was also concerned that American Indian tribes be treated with dignity  and respect. His fundamental desire for peace was reflected in his efforts to solve international disputes by arbitration rather than by threat of war. At the time of his death in 1885. Grant was universally respected by northerners and southerners alike.

Because of Grant’s status as a national hero, most Americans assumed he would be buried in Washington DC but his family preferred New York City. Grant himself had no strong preference; his only desire was for his wife, Julia to be buried next to him. The funeral on August 8, 1885 was one of the most spectacular events New York had ever seen. Buildings all over the city were draped in black. An estimated one million people crowded sidewalks, filled windows, stood on rooftops and climbed trees and telephone poles for a view of the procession, which stretched seven miles and took  five hours to pass.

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The resting place for General Grant and his wife

Grant’s remains were placed in a temporary vault until an appropriate memorial could be funded and built. On April 27, 1897, the 75th anniversary of Grant’s birth, thousands of people, including diplomats from 26 countries, attended the dedication ceremony for the completed memorial. The dedication parade, led by President William McKinley, was almost as large as Grant’s funeral parade. Julia Grant reviewed the ceremony sitting next to President McKinley. She was laid by her husband’s side after her death in 1902.

General Grant National Memorial

The Tomb of General Grant and his wife

The tomb is located in Riverside Park near Columbia University and across the street from Sakura Park, where Japanese Cherry trees are in bloom every Spring. Near the tomb is the memorial to the ‘Amicable Child’ and that should not be missed as well.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the National Park Service pamphlet. This is a very interesting National Memorial and should not be missed. It is opened at certain times of the week, so please look for the posted hours. (The memorial is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm daily. For more information or to arrange for groups visits, please call (212) 666-1640).