Romare Bearden

American

1911, Charlotte, North Carolina
1988, New York City, New York

Biography
Romare Bearden was a prolific and multifaceted artist who worked in a wide range of media, including painting, collage, murals, album covers, book illustration, and stage design. Born in North Carolina, he moved New York at a young age and grew up amidst the vibrant cultural scene of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. Bearden was drawn early on to the European avant-garde and to Old Master painting, and experimented with various modernist styles. During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, however, themes of African American life began to dominate his work. His personal artistic language blended contemporary scenes, childhood memories, and religious and folkloric imagery. These were conveyed through a technique influenced by such diverse practices as cubist collage, quilting, and jazz music. A longtime professional social worker in New York, Bearden was also active in several arts organizations dedicated to promoting minority artists and wrote frequently on art and social issues.

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