From the 1970s to the early 2000s, American artist and quiltmaker Michael A. Cummings avidly collected ephemeral materials documenting Black art events in New York City and beyond. Upon acquiring his collection of nearly 1,000 pamphlets, postcards, brochures, and flyers representing art exhibitions and performances, the Center digitized a selection of these materials and have made them available to view in NYPL's Digital Collections.
Layered within each item, a treasure trove of information is revealed about artists, galleries, gallerists, and curators that have often existed on the margins of canonical fine art narratives. Without this documentation, some of the artists and galleries spotlighted in this collection might have been lost to history. Now, with this new digital representation, we're able to preserve and share a stunning snapshot of a bygone era in New York City's art world from the late 20th century.