What a relief it is to take a trip uptown to the Studio Museum in Harlem for the exhibition “To Conserve a Legacy: American Art from Historically Black Colleges.” The Studio Museum’s sober and even reverential approach to the works of art currently in its care is in contrast to the trendy fripperies found at MOMA. The two hundred or so pieces on display are culled from the collections of Clark-Atlanta, Fisk, Hampton, Howard, North Carolina Central, and Tuskegee Universities. The show is a distinctly American one and includes a wide variety of figures like Georgia O’Keeffe, Josef Albers, Alfred Stieglitz, Arthur Dove, and Charles Demuth. The “conservative” aspect of the show refers not only to an artistic and historical consciousness, but also to a practical one: as one of the show’s initiatives, a training program for the preservation and rehabilitation of art has been instituted. Such cultural...

 
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