Thursday, April 8, 2021


Harlem Bespoke: One of the greatest and relatively unknown American portrait painters who lived in East Harlem for some time now has a massive exhibit at The Met.  Alice Neel moved to East Harlem with her partner José Santiago Negrón in the 1930s when the Italian neighborhood was quickly attracting Puerto Rican and Dominican immigrants.  The artist captured the images of her neighbors with a loving eye on mothers and children of Harlem's historic blocks.  This was just one facet of the complex collection of bohemians, artists, families, lovers, sons, daughters and nudes that shed a light on diverse decades of humanity within the city that no other painter has soulfully captured.  

What is unique about this retrospective is not only that a woman has such a high honor at the country's top museum but also the complexity of portraiture represented within.  We spent a good part of the afternoon viewing each piece but will have to go back for another round since there is so much to take in.  Those living in West and Central Harlem can take the M4 bus which goes down Broadway and crosses 110th Street before heading south on Fifth Avenue to the museum.  Make sure to book socially distanced reservations online in advance and bring your ID to get the resident discount: LINK

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