A museum for the Harlem community, and beyond
The founders of the Studio Museum, a diverse group of activists, artists, philanthropists, and Harlem residents, hoped to bring to the Museum not only the people living in and around Harlem, but also those throughout the rest of New York City and beyond. Opening with an exhibition of Tom Lloyd’s sculptures thus signaled the institution’s willingness to be innovative and contemporary. It cemented both the Museum’s commitment to supporting the work of living artists and its emphasis on youth education. The desire for a museum committed to the work of artists of African descent was apparent in the audience numbers—during its first three exhibitions, the Museum attracted over 15,000 visitors, including nearly 300 school groups.