Tag: Visiting 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.

American Academy of Arts & Letters III

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.

American Academy of Arts & Letters V

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.

American Academy of Arts & Letters VI

‘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.

American Academy of Arts & Letters IV.jpg

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.

American Academy of Arts & Letters II

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 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.

Studio Art Museum of Harlem II

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.

Grant's Tomb II

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).

The Amiable Child Memorial                     554 Riverside Drive at West 124th Street New York, NY 10027

The Amiable Child Memorial 554 Riverside Drive at West 124th Street New York, NY 10027

The Amiable Child Memorial

554 Riverside Drive at West 124th Street

New York, NY 10027

Open: 6:00am-1:00am

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/riversidepark/monuments/1206

https://riversideparknyc.org/places/amiable-child-monument/

I stumbled across the Amiable Child Memorial over the summer when I was walking Riverside Drive for “MywalkinManhattan” project (see walking 155th Street) and came across this small memorial when I was passing Grant’s Tomb. It is off to the side on the path by the woods. It is a small monument and very humbling in its look. It is a small urn on a pedestal marking a grave of a small child surrounded by a fence. I got the following information from the NYC Parks Department website when I wanted to know more about the site:

This unique New York City monument marks the site of one of the few private graves on public land within the five boroughs. It belongs to St. Claire Pollock (the namesake of nearby St. Claire Place), a child who died on July 15, 1797 in the fifth year of his life, probably from a fall from the cliffs of the parkland onto the rocks near the Hudson River.

Amiable Child Tomb

 

In the two centuries that have passed since the tragedy of the “Amiable Child” as he was described on his headstone-different accounts of St. Claire origins and family have persisted. George Pollock, the owner of the property on which the boy was buried, was either his father or his uncle. He was a linen merchant of Scots-Irish or possibly English descent, who lived in a mansion on Strawberry Hill (later called Claremont) in the 1790’s. He  had sold his property to Mrs. Cornelia Verplanck, his former neighbor, by January 18, 1800 when he wrote as follows:

Amiable Child Tomb II

“There is a small enclosure near your boundary fence within which lie the remains of a favorite child, covered by a marble monument. You will confer a peculiar and interesting favor upon me by allowing me to convey the enclosure to you so that you will consider its part of your own estate, keeping it however always enclosed and sacred.”

Claremont Hill was the site of the Battle of Harlem Heights, fought during the Revolutionary War on September 16, 1776. By 1806, it had been acquired by Michael Hogan, a former British Consul in Havana, who built Claremont Mansion (for which Claremont Avenue was named). Possible sources for the name are Hogan’s birthplace of County Clare, Ireland and his friend Prince William, Duke of Clarence, who would ascend the English throne as King William IV in 1830. Known as the site of a popular roadside inn by 1860, Claremont was acquired by the City from the heirs of Joel Post in 1873 for the development of Riverside Park.

Amiable Child's Tomb II

In the 1890’s, Claremont Inn was host to numerous politicians, socialites and entertainers including the Morgan’s, Vanderbilt’s and Whitney’s, Lillian Russell and Admiral George Dewey. By 1907, the Inn had been transformed into a restaurant, serving the likes of Cole Porter and James J. Walker. It was destroyed by fire in 1950. The playground which now stands on the site was built shortly afterwards.

A century after the Tomb of the Amiable Child was laid, New York’s most famous monumental grave-Grant’s Tomb-was completed. The domed structure across Riverside Drive, designed by architect John Duncan and sculptor John Massey Rhind, was dedicated on April 27, 1897. The later structure is as grand a testimony to the accomplishments of national leader as the monument to the amiable child is a modest and touching tribute to a young boy who never had the opportunity to grow into adulthood. This monument was dedicated on May 3, 1967 (www.nycgovparks.org/parks/riverside-park/mounments/1206).

*You really have to look off the beaten path to see this unique little memorial but it is very touching and soulful. Take the time when visiting the neighborhood to visit this very touching site. You will find it by the path behind Grant’s Tomb.

Look for more sculptures  by looking at the Parks website http://www.nycgovparks.org.