Romare Bearden Painter & Collagist

I thought this was a good time to write about Romare Bearden an American Painter and one of the creators of cubist collages.
While his name may not be as well – known as Pablo Picasso they both were responsible for introducing collage cubist work to the public.

Romare Bearden drew upon his own history. He was born in  Charleston South Carolina, educated in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and graduated from NYU in 1935. He began painting scenes from the American South focusing on the African-American community.

After serving on the European front in World War ll – his worked changed to incorporate what he termed humanity into his work. He would later return to Paris and study Art History and Philosophy at the Sorbonne in 1950 and paint abstracts. By 1960 he was back in the USA and became a founding member of The Spiral an art group based in Harlem.  By this time, he incorporated the Civil Rights Movement into his collage works of the 1960s.

momaThe Patchwork Quilt R. Bearden

A man of many talents he also found time to coauthor a number of books and and he co-wrote the jazz classic “Sea Breeze”. In 1987 he was awarded National Medal of Arts.

Romare Bearden died in New York City on March 12, 1988 due to complications from bone cancer. The New York Times called Bearden “one of America’s preeminent artists” and “the nation’s foremost collagist”.

Two years after his death, The Romare Bearden Foundation was founded. This non-profit organization has begun developing grant-giving programs aimed at funding and supporting children, young (emerging) artists and scholars.

For more information see  The Romare Bearden Foundation




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