27 Cooper Sq.
Bowery Arts & Beats
You are standing in front of an 1844 townhouse which was converted in the 1960s from a cold-water flop to home and gathering place for a newly developing, inclusive avant-garde. Poets Amiri Bakara and Hetty Jones hosted writers, painters, dancers, filmmakers, and musicians. At their notorious parties, you might have met Alan Ginsburg or Frank O’Hara or Larry Rivers or Jonas Mekas or Cecil Taylor. It was here that Baraka began the influential Black Arts Movement, a lasting inspiration for African American artists in all genres.
Children flourished, pianos came in through windows, and saxophonist Archie Schepp’s rehearsals stopped traffic across Cooper Square. Elizabeth Murray stayed until her paintings were too large to navigate the steep, winding stairs. Later generations found their way here to break bread, argue art and politics, and continue to explore barrier-breaking forms of American art.
Erected 2016 by Bowery Alliance of Neighbors.
Location. 40° 43.657′ N, 73° 59.472′ W. Marker is in New York, New York
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Hippest Place on Earth (a few steps from this marker); 27 Cooper Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Merchants House of New York (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); De Vinne Press Building (about 500 feet away); Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) (about 500 feet away); Firehouse Engine Company No. 33 (about 500 feet away); The Fillmore East Theater (about 500 feet away); Astor Library (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 11, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 58 times since then and 22 times this year. Last updated on April 17, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. Photos: 1. submitted on October 11, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. 2. submitted on March 15, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 11, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. 6, 7, 8. submitted on April 5, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.