ROMARE BEARDEN: VISION & ACTIVISM presents examples of Bearden’s influences as an artist of social conscience and action. Romare Bearden (1911–1988) recognized as one of the most important visual artists of the 20th Century, countered racial stereotypes with images drawn from history, literature, and the free world of his imagination. The exhibition, which is drawn from the Romare Bearden Foundation Collection, examines how he agitated for change through images and writing. Included are a diverse collection of original collage, watercolor, limited edition prints, reproductions, and rare archival material, including his magazine covers and editorial cartoons. The exhibition recently premiered at the new Black History Museum in Richmond, VA, in January, 2016.
The exhibition traces Bearden’s evolution into a true master artist. It starts with with his editorial cartoons for university magazines, and later, national publications and newspapers. In the section called Rewriting History are examples where he takes on the past to engender pride as in Black History, a maquette for a public mural. In others he engages current events as in the Mayor Lindsay piece for Time Magazine. The exhibition which was organized by the Romare Bearden Foundation will be available for circulation through 2019.