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the gibbes museum of art

Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem

May 24, 2019 - August 18, 2019

Galleries 8 & 9


With works in all media from the 1930s to the present, this will be the first traveling exhibition to reflect the full breadth of the Studio Museum’s unparalleled permanent collection. The exhibition, including work by artists such as Romare Bearden, David Hammons, Norman Lewis, Wangechi Mutu, and Lorna Simpson, will expand understanding of modern and contemporary art by artists of African descent. Founded in 1968, 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. Alumni of the Artist-in-Residence program include Chakaia Booker, Kerry James Marshall, and Kehinde Wiley, all of whom are included in this exhibition. The Artist-in-Residence program emphasizes both art and education, much like the Gibbes Museum’s Visiting Artist program that connects the artmaking process with the final product, helping to bring art to life for museum visitors. Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share these incredible works of art with the Charleston community. The exhibition addresses themes directly relevant to our region, including race, identity, power, wealth, and memory. The artists in this exhibition are powerful voices in contemporary art that encourage viewers to consider the world around them in new and thoughtful ways. This exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Major support for Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem provided by Art Bridges. Additional funding provided by BlueCross BlueShield of SC, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Lynch Cracraft Wealth Management of Raymond James, Society 1858, Key Logistics Solutions, LLC, City Paper, Charleston County School District, Betsy Fleming and Ed Weisiger, Jr., Kim and Jim Pallotta, Carol and David Rawle, and Ron and Cynthia Thompson. Black Refractions: Highlights from the Studio Museum in Harlem is presented in association with Spoleto Festival USA.


  • BCBS South Carolina
  • Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
  • City Paper
  • Lynch Cracraft Wealth Management of Raymond James
  • Charleston County School District
  • Art Bridges