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A poster set of Chris Ofili's exhibition Afro Muses 1995-2005 (2005) at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (all images courtesy the Studio Museum in Harlem)

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The Studio Museum in Harlem is offering art lovers a chance to collect archival exhibition catalogues and posters from its 53-year history for as low as $10 apiece.

Titled Into the Archive: Catalogues from 1969-2019, the sale spans 75 catalogues and 14 posters of historic exhibitions featuring prominent Black artists like Benny Andrews, Barkley L. Hendricks, Sam Gilliam, Faith Ringgold, Mark Bradford, Jack Whitten, Lorna Simpson, Glenn Ligon, and many others. The collectibles are available for purchase on the museum’s online store, with some already sold out.

A poster from Faith Ringgold’s 1984 exhibition Twenty Years of Painting, Sculpture and Performance (1963-1983)

It truly is a remarkable collection of archival materials at tempting prices. For example, you can get catalogues of exhibitions like Harlem Artists ’69 (1969); California Black Artists (1977); Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Any Number of Preoccupations (2011); and Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art (2014). You can also buy posters of Faith Ringgold’s 1984 exhibition Twenty Years of Painting, Sculpture and Performance (1963-1983), Sam Gilliam’s Red and Black to “D” Paintings (1982), and Kerry James Marshall’s One True Thing: Meditations on Black Aesthetics (2004).

Opened in 1968 in a rented loft on West 125th Street, the museum is currently preparing to reopen in a larger space designed by architect David Adjaye with Cooper Robertson. Since its inception, the museum has maintained vigorous exhibition and publishing programs highlighting the work of emerging and established Black artists who were historically overlooked. The museum is also famous for its 11-month artist-in-residence program, which has graduated luminaries like Simone Leigh, Xaviera Simmons, Titus Kaphar, Meleko Mokgosi, and dozens of others.

“Exhibition catalogues published by The Studio Museum in Harlem were, for many years, the principal works of scholarship about dozens of Black contemporary artists, if not the sole source of art historical information about them,” the museum told Hyperallergic in a statement. “Now, more than 50 years after its founding, the Studio Museum is republishing these catalogues in an effort to make this primary material available to today’s audiences.”

Editor’s note 10/19/21: A spokesperson for the museum has rescinded an original statement that the newly listed titles are being republished. The museum has instead made archival titles available for a limited time.

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Hakim Bishara

Hakim Bishara is a staff writer for Hyperallergic. He is also a co-director at Soloway Gallery, an artist-run space in Brooklyn. Bishara is a recipient of the 2019 Andy Warhol Foundation and Creative Capital...

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