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Cinque Gallery records, 1959-2010

Cinque Gallery

This site provides access to the papers of Cinque Gallery in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2019, and total 1,043 images.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

Collection Information

Size: 1.1 Linear feet

Summary: The records of the New York City-based Cinque Gallery, a nonprofit organization, measure 1.1 linear feet and date from 1959 to 2010, with the bulk of materials dating from 1976 to 2004. The gallery's mission was to exhibit African American artists, to educate the public about their work, and to offer art programs to the community. This is documented by administrative records, artists' files, financial and legal records, printed material, and photographs. Materials dated before and after the gallery's years of operation relate to African American community organizations and were compiled by former Cinque Gallery Executive Director, Ruth Jett.
Administrative records consist of a broad range of material such as gallery history, an organizational outline, by-laws and articles, assorted forms, correspondence, mailing lists, and fundraising materials. Correspondence is mostly addressed to Executive Director Ruth Jett regarding business operations and funding efforts.
Artists' files consists of resumes, biographical statements, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements related to Cinque Gallery founders as well as other artists. Notable artists include Romare Bearden, Ernest Crichlow, Norman Lewis, Nadine DeLawrence, Joanne McFarland, Virginia Evans Smit, and many others.
Financial and legal records include bank statements, tax records, budget projections, price lists, ledgers, and contribution receipts.
Printed material consists of announcements, invitations, and catalogs of group and solo exhibitions held at Cinque Gallery. Some of the artists featured in the exhibitions are Romare Bearden, Ernest Crichlow, Edward Clark, and Charles Alston. Also found are a brochure, newsletter, press releases, and clippings. Other printed items relating to Cinque Gallery are a brochure, exhibition reviews, and clippings.
Photographs are mostly of Cinque Gallery events, exhibition openings and galas. Some of the photographs have annotations on the verso. Among the identified individuals are Ernest Crichlow, Ruth Jett, Romare Bearden, and Norman Lewis. This series also contains a small number of negatives and a few slides of artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Cinque Gallery (est. 1969, closed 2004) was a nonprofit art gallery in New York City founded by African American artists Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, and Ernest Crichlow. It was established to exhibit the work of both new and established African American artists, and to provide community educational programs.


The records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2013 by Ruth M. Jett, former Executive Director of Cinque Gallery.


Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.