Caribbean: Crossroads of the World

Caribbean: Crossroads of the World is the culmination of nearly a decade of collaborative research and scholarship organized by El Museo del Barrio in collaboration with the Queens Museum of Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem. The exhibition, comprised of more than 500 works of art spanning four centuries, emphasizes the relationship between the Caribbean and the United States and the artists from both locales who contribute to ongoing conversations about national and regional identity and belonging.

Presenting work at the three museums and accompanied by an ambitious range of programs and events, Caribbean: Crossroads illuminates changing aesthetics and ideologies and provokes meaningful conversations about topics ranging from commerce and cultural hybridity to politics and popular culture. A single “Passport to the Caribbean” purchased at any institution will allow admission to all three venues for the duration of the exhibition.

Margarita Aguilar, Director of El Museo del Barrio, notes: “El Museo del Barrio is very proud to be leading groundbreaking research into the artistic heritage of a region that scholars have too often overlooked. With our visionary collaborators, we are expanding our understanding of the region. The rich history of the Caribbean and its global impact is astonishing, and we look forward to celebrating this with our communities through the arts.”

Taking the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) as its starting point, Caribbean: Crossroads engages the rich history of the Caribbean and its transatlantic cultures. The broad range of themes examined in the multi-venue project draws attention to diverse views of the contemporary Caribbean and sheds new light on the encounters and exchanges among the countries and territories comprising the New World.

The works on view, culled from collections around the world, represent Caribbean perspectives and external perceptions of the region through a wide range of subjects and artistic practices that include portraiture, spiritual and religious themes, depictions of labor and historical events, abstraction, and contemporary video and installation work. This selection provides a visual history of the Caribbean as a pivotal crossroads between Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

“Caribbean: Crossroads is a vital extension of the Studio Museum’s commitment to exhibiting a broad and diverse range of artistic practices,” declares Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem. “We are thrilled to partner with our peer institutions, El Museo and the Queens Museum, to present this exceptional opportunity to explore the art, culture and history of a region that has influenced and inspired artists of African descent for centuries.”

El Museo del Barrio is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am-6pm; Sunday, 1pm-5pm, on view to January 6, 2013. Museum admission is by suggested donation: $9 for adults, $5 for students (with valid identification) and seniors. Free for children 12 and under. Wednesdays are free for seniors. The third Saturday of every month is free at El Museo, thanks to generous support from Target. www.elmuseo.org, 1230 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029.

The Queens Museum of Art is open Wednesday to Sunday, noon-6pm, on view to January 6, 2013. Museum admission is by suggested donation: $5 for adults, $2.50 for students (with valid identification) and seniors. Free for members and children 5 and under. www.queensmuseum.org, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368

The Studio Museum is open Thursday and Friday, noon-9pm; Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, noon-6pm, on view to October 21, 2012. The Museum is closed to the public but available for school and group tours on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Museum admission is by suggested donation: $7 for adults, $3 for students (with valid identification) and seniors. Free for children 12 and under. Sundays are free at the Studio Museum, thanks to generous support from Target. www.studiomuseum.org, 144 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027

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