About the Collection
New York State’s Harlem Art Collection was conceived in 1976 to draw public attention to and celebrate the Harlem art community. The pieces, created by Black and Hispanic artists, were submitted for consideration to, and subsequently selected by, the Harlem State Office Building Committee on Arts and Culture. The committee was created and organized in 1975 by then Senator H. Carl McCall with representation from state and city governments and the Harlem business community.
The resulting collection is comprised of more than 100 works of art, including painting, sculpture, photography, prints, and mixed-media, by 65 artists. Several of these artists are now considered major contributors to the history of American art, and to one of the most important art movements of the 20th century.
The works in the collection cover a span of over 100 years and include works by artists from the Harlem Renaissance up to the mid-1970s. The collection is graced by distinguished artists like Jacob Lawrence, Hale Woodruff, Norman Lewis, Elizabeth Catlett, Palmer Hayden, Howardena Pindell, David Hammons, and more.
The use of the Harlem Art Collection, in art institutions across the nation and by scholars and art historians, is testimony of its potential as a resource that enriches the lives of individuals in New York and beyond.