Thursday, August 20

Harlem on My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America, 1900–1968

"At the end of the Civil Rights Movement, the Metropolitan Museum of Art organized Harlem on My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America, 1900–1968, an exhibition that sought to explore the history and value of the predominantly Black community of Harlem, New York. In organizing one of the most controversial exhibitions in United States history, the Metropolitan decided to exclude Harlemites from participating in the exhibition planning and to exclude artwork by Harlem’s thriving artist community from the exhibition. ... This article details the struggles of Harlem-based artists to confront and challenge the unethical machinations of the institutional epicenter of the postwar international art world. This discussion addresses the critical appropriations of the event forged by black visual artists, photographers, and visitors who brought a competing set of political and emotional investments in the documentary works on display. ..."
American Studies
[PDF] Black Artists and Activism: Harlem on My Mind (1969)
NY Times: What I Learned From a Disgraced Art Show on Harlem