Romare Bearden’s life intersected squarely with the battle over representation of black experience in America. He spent his childhood at the heart of the New Negro Movement in New York City. He began his career as a cartoonist during his college years, and in the later 1930s, turned to painting and joined a community of artists supported by the WPA. As his reputation grew he perfected his skills, studying the European masters and finding new ways of applying them to the America he knew, one in which the struggle for civil rights became all-absorbing.
Campbell’s book offers a full and vibrant account of Bearden’s life—his years in Harlem (his studio was above the Apollo theater), to his travels and commissions, along with illuminating analysis of his work and artistic career. Campbell, who met Bearden in the 1970s, was among the first to compile a catalogue of his works. An American Odyssey goes far beyond that, offering a living portrait of an artist and the impact he made upon the world he sought both to recreate and celebrate.
Mary Schmidt Campbell is President of Spelman College and Dean Emerita of the Tisch School of the Arts. She served as the vice chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities under former President Barack Obama.
The event is co-sponsored by the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.
Romare Bearden: Visionary Artist, on exhibit at the Lewis Museum November 11, 2018 – March 3, 2019, features over 70 works in a variety of media that showcase Bearden as one of the most important visual artists of the 20th century.
The museum bookshop will have copies of the book for sale at a book signing following the program.
Thursday, December 13 at 6:30pm
Reginald F. Lewis Museum 830 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202