Artnet News | 50 Years Ago, Romare Bearden and His Colleagues Founded a New York Gallery for Artists of Color. A New Show Celebrates Its Legacy
May 6, 2021 - Sarah Cascone for Artnet News
The show explores the gallery's ties to the Art Students League of New York.
In 1969, tired of the lack of exhibition opportunities for Black artists, Romare Bearden, Ernest Crichlow, and Norman Lewis took matters into their own hands and opened Cinque Gallery, a nonprofit exhibition space on Astor Place in New York’s East Village.
Cinque—named for Joseph Cinque, who led the 1839 revolt on the Amistad slave ship after being kidnapped in Sierra Leone—quickly became a thriving community of young and mid-career artists.
Over its 35-year existence at various spaces across the city, the organization showcased the work of some 450 artists of color, including Emma Amos, Dawoud Bey, Sam Gilliam, and Whitfield Lovell—all of whom are featured in the first-ever exhibition celebrating the legacy of Cinque Gallery at the Art Students League of New York.
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