The Studio Museum in Harlem collects, researches and interprets the work of African-American artists and artists of African descent. It is a nexus for artists—locally, nationally and internationally—and for work that has been inspired and influenced by black culture.

Since opening in a rented loft at Fifth Avenue and 125th Street in 1968, the Studio Museum in Harlem has earned recognition for its catalytic role in promoting the works of artists of African descent.  The museum’s Artist-In-Residence program has nearly 100 graduates who have gone on to establish highly regarded careers.  A wide variety of education and public programs have brought the African-American experience alive for the public by means of lectures, dialogues, panel discussions and performances as well as interpretive programs both on-site and off-site for students and teachers.  The exhibitions program has also expanded the scope of art historical literature through the production of scholarly catalogs, brochures and pamphlets.

The permanent collection includes over 1,600 paintings, sculptures, watercolors, drawings, pastels, prints, photographs, mixed media works and installations.  Featured are work by artists such as Romare Bearden, Robert Colescott, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Chris Ofili, Betye Saar, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker and Hale Woodruff.  The museum is also the custodian of an extensive archive of the work of photographer James VanDerZee, the quintessential chronicler of the Harlem community from 1906 to 1983.

Programs for Seniors
Not limited to seniors, the Arts & Minds program is a guided museum tour and discussion, designed for people with dementia and their caregivers. Call Monique Hedmann at (212) 939-4239 to inquire about dates and to rsvp.


The Studio Museum offers a wide assortment of art education programs for children. Guided tours, participatory art workshops and special programs bring children ages 4 and up face-to-face with the artistic process. Target Free Sundays, Kwanzaa events, films and children's book readings round out the family schedule.


The Studio Museum in Harlem is committed to “expanding the walls” of the classroom to include the museum as an extension of the it. Forming creative partnerships with schools is at the core of the museum's school programs that examine art and culture. The museum is committed to enhancing school curricula and encouraging innovative teaching practices.

In the Group Tour program, students and teachers explore current exhibitions through discussion and activities that encourage critical thinking about original works of art. Guided tours and workshops focus on the themes and techniques of works in the galleries. Tours are tailored to suit each group's grade level, ability and subject interest.