This past week, Harlem’s creative history made major news, while it’s creative future opened doors for more artists to come.
We learned a little bit of art history with a report from The New York Times that murals originally commissioned by the Works Progress Administration for Harlem Hospital Center in 1936 will be fully restored for all to enjoy. Apparently, the works were created by African American artists through the WPA’s Federal Arts Project and were probably the first commissions awarded to African Americans. The works had deteriorated over the years, and were rediscovered during renovations at the hospital. We’ll get to see them in their own gallery in the hospital and on enlarged digital images on the hospital’s façade. We’re excited to enjoy this amazing art.
The Times also reported that a new novel of the Harlem Renaissance was found. A Columbia graduate student and his adviser discovered the work, and had it authenticated. It turned out to be an unknown manuscript of a 1941 novel by Claude McKay, a leading Harlem Renaissance writer and author of the first novel by a black American to become a best seller for his 1928 novel, “Home to Harlem.” The book will be published and and is sure to breathe new life into Harlem Renaissance interest. We love that!
Finally, the Harlem Fashion Row celebrated its 5th year this fashion week with a runway show at the Jazz at the Lincoln Center home in Columbus Center. For the first time, the group held a panel of judges that included the likes of Fern Malis, the originator of the Bryant Park tents, to select 4 designers who ultimately showed their wares to a celebrity filled room of fashionistas. We’ve been great fans of this group and have posted on them in the past. Fashion, Harlem, fabulous. Keep up the good work and we look forward to more great things to come.