Photo courtesy of the Rockefeller Archive Center.
The Studio Museum of Harlem
The Studio Museum of Harlem opened in 1968 after several years of consultation among artists, activists, the artistic community, civic leaders, and potential funders. It was founded to display art as well as to support working artists and arts education, with a focus on African influences and artists of African descent. The RBF provided advice and assistance to founders Carter Burden and Frank Donnelly and director Charles Inniss, and became one of the museum’s earliest funders. In 1968, it provided a matching grant for general purposes when the museum opened with a three-part program of exhibitions, a film school, and an artist-in-residence program. The RBF continued to support the Studio Museum throughout the 1970s, and in 1980 made a $100,000 grant toward the renovation of its new permanent space at 144 West 125th Street, where it operates today.