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When
July 20, 2017 to January 7, 2018

Where

Studio Museum in Harlem
144 West 125th Street
New York  New York  10027
United States
212-864-4500
Studio Museum of Harlem

Their Own Harlems

Image: Jacob Lawrence. The Architect, 1959. Egg tempera on Masonite, 13 5/8 × 17 1/2 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Hathinas  1982.1

In honor of the centennial of the birth of Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000), Their Own Harlems examines the ways in which the urban landscape has influenced Lawrence’s artistic practice, as well as that of other artists. Known primarily for his bodies of work that depict historical figures, Lawrence was also a keen observer of contemporary life, drawing inspiration throughout his career from the years he spent living in Harlem. He thought of Harlem in a broad sense, acknowledging the powerful and positive experiences people of African descent across the country could find in “their own Harlems.” The works in this exhibition thus consider different aspects of urban life, such as the ritual of moving through the city and the direct observation of scenes on the street, to illustrate how the city has served as a source of inspiration for artists across generations.

Drawn primarily from the permanent collection, Their Own Harlemsfeatures the work of over fifteen artists including Dawoud Bey, Jacob Lawrence, Julie Mehretu, Wardell Milan, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.