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In 1968 "Harlem on my Mind" was an Historic Exhibition on the history and style of the Harlem Community.

[[image - black and white photograph of the exterior of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a cultural mainstay for New York City residents, is a formidable tourist attraction as well. According to a recent survey by an opinion research firm, half of the 85,000 people who visit the Metropolitan weekly are from outside the city's five boroughs. These visitors are equally divided between those from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and those from the rest of the United States or abroad.  

Emerging from the museum study is a portrait of the out-of-town tourist as adult, family-oriented, educated, and affluent, with a family income of $20,000 or more.

According to the New York Convention and Visitors' Bureau, the Metropolitan is frequented by more tourists annually than most other city attractions, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and the United Nations. Only Rockefeller Center has more visitors than the museum.


Harlem, its culture, style and history as a dynamic force in New York, is surveyed and recreated in "Harlem On My Mind": The Cultural Capital of Black America 1900-1968, a major special exhibition opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art January 18.

Conceived as a multi-media, environmental exhibition, "Harlem On My Mind" juxtaposes photographs, slides, films, archival recordings, taped interviews, music and street sounds, documenting the events, personalities and richness of Harlem's seven-decade history as a black community. Much of the material in the exhibition is being seen publicly for the first time. Memorabilia assembled from archives and private collections throughout the country is supplemented by interviews, films and video-tapes specially created for "Harlem On My Mind" by the exhibition staff.

Speaking about the exhibition, Thomas P.F. Hoving, the Museum's Director, said: "I'm proud that the Metropolitan Museum, as one of the great cultural institutions of the Western Hemisphere, is presenting this extraordinary exhibition. I think all of us—black and white—are going to learn something from it."

"Harlem On My Mind" has been created and organized by Allon Schoener, Visual Arts Director of the New York State Council on the Arts and Exhibition Coordinator, with a special exhibition staff, including:  Reginald McGhee, Photographic Research Director; Donald Harper, Associate Research and Media Director; Robert Malone, Exhibition Systems Designer; Martin S. Moskof, Exhibition Graphics Designer; and Mrs. A'Lelia Nelson, Community Relations Coordinator.

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact