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Romare Bearden papers, 1937-1982

Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988

Painter, Illustrator, Art historian

The papers of Romare Bearden in the Archives of American Art were digitized in 2005. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 2,217 images.

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art

Collection Information

Size: 2.1 Linear feet

Summary: The papers of Romare Bearden measure 2.1 linear feet and date from 1937 to 1982. The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, writings by and about Bearden, miscellaneous legal and financial material, photographs, drawings, and printed material. Found are numerous letters referring to African-American arts movements of the 1960s and 1970s, including exhibitions, publications, associations, and scattered letters of a more personal nature.

Biographical/Historical Note

Born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, in 1914, Bearden's family relocated to New York City when Bearden was a toddler. Living in Harlem during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, Bearden was exposed to such luminaries as writer Langston Hughes, painter Aaron Douglas, and musician Duke Ellington. While attending New York University, Bearden became interested in cartooning and became the art editor of the NYU Medley in his senior year. He received his B.S. in mathematics in 1935, initially planning to pursue medical school. Realizing that he had little interest in the other sciences however, Bearden began attending classes at the Art Students League in the evenings, studying under George Grosz.

Provenance

Romare Bearden lent material for microfilming to the Archives of American Art in 1968, donating the correspondence. Bearden also gave additional papers between 1977 and 1983.

Related Materials

Funding

Funding for the digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art