A Finding Aid to the Cinque Gallery Records, 1959-2010, bulk 1976-2004, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.cinqgall2
Creators:
Cinque Gallery
Dates:
1959-2010, bulk 1976-2004
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.1 Linear feet
Repository:
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.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
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.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 5 series:
  • Series 1: Administrative Records, 1969-2010 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Artists' Files, 1983-2009 (Box 1, OV 2; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 3: Financial and Legal Records, 1969-2005 (Box 1; 0.3 linear feet)
  • Series 4: Printed Material, 1959-2007, bulk 1976-2007 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 5: Photographs, circa 1987-2003 (Box 1, OV 2; 0.2 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
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.
In 1981, co-founder Ernest Crichlow invited Ruth Jett, an accomplished administrator and long-time arts supporter, to serve on the gallery's Board of Directors. One year later, Jett was appointed Executive Director of Cinque Gallery. Jett has been described as the glue that held the Cinque Gallery together during its prodigious programs and exhibitions of the 1980s and 1990s.
Cinque sponsored more than 350 exhibitions in a number of New York City venues, as well as travelling exhibitions in the New York and New England areas before closing in 2004. The Gallery was funded by public and individual contributors, such as the Romare Bearden Foundation, Philip Morris Companies and the Andy Warhol Foundation.
Although Cinque Gallery closed its doors in 2004, some of its central programs are still continued by the Romare Bearden Foundation in New York City.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed to a minimal level by Harriet E. Shapiro in 2014. The collection was fully processed, prepared for digitization, and described in a finding aid by Rihoko Ueno in 2019 with funding provided by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.
Existence and Location of Copies
The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2019 and is available on the Archives of American Art website. Materials which have not been scanned include blank pages, blank versos of photographs, and duplicates. In some cases, exhibition catalogs and other publications have had their covers, title pages, and relevant pages scanned.
Author
Harriet E. Shapiro and Rihoko Ueno
Sponsor
Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The records were donated to the Archives of American Art in 2013 by Ruth M. Jett, former Executive Director of Cinque Gallery.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Cinque Gallery records, 1959-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Conditions Governing Use
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
African American artists -- Exhibitions Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artist-run galleries -- New York (State) -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Crichlow, Ernest, 1914-2005 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jett, Ruth M. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lewis, Norman, 1909-1979 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/