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MoMA Announces the Establishment of the Just Above Midtown Archives Thanks to Generous Grant from Mellon Foundation

The Museum of Modern Art

MoMA announces the establishment of the Just Above Midtown Archives in the Museum’s Archives, Library, and Research collections, following the Museum’s recent exhibition Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces. Started by Linda Goode Bryant in 1974, Just Above Midtown (JAM) was an exhibition and creative space started by Black artists and curators that welcomed people of many generations and races in New York City until 1986. A hub for Conceptual art, abstraction, performance, and video, JAM proposed an expansive idea of Black art and encouraged thinking beyond its commercialization. The exhibition used archival photos, videos, and other contextual historical material from the JAM Archives to give visitors a sense of the alternative model of art it championed to respond to a society in need. As a part of MoMA’s collection, the JAM Archives will be available for activation in the Museum’s galleries and for consultation and research at MoMA by curators, art historians, artists, journalists, researchers, students, and the public.

The Just Above Midtown Archives, created and stewarded through the years by Linda Goode Bryant, is comprised of a diverse set of materials, including artist files and slides; correspondence; invitations, posters, and press releases; documentation of time-based works such as drawings, photographs, and scripts; issues of JAM’s books and broadsheets; and administrative files, including exhibition checklists, press releases, and financial records. In addition to the paper materials, the Just Above Midtown Archives include unique audiovisual materials documenting activities at JAM and the related art world. The generous grant from the Mellon Foundation will also support a dedicated archivist to work exclusively on the Just Above Midtown Archives for a one-year term.

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Installation view of Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces, on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York from October 9, 2022 – February 18, 2023. Photo: Emile Askey