2 September: Fred Romare Harry
Bearden, born in Charlotte, North
Carolina to Bessye Johnson Bearden
and (Richard) Howard Bearden.

Family moves to
New York City.

Fall: Enrolls at Public School (P.S.) 5,
141st Street and Edgecombe
Avenue, Harlem, New York.

Bearden family settles
permanently in Harlem.

Attends fourth
grade in Pittsburgh;
lives with maternal

Bessye Bearden
elected to New York City
School Board No. 15.

Completes P.S. 139 and
enters De Witt Clinton High
School, 116th Street Annex, NY.

Summer: Eugene Bailey,
a young Pittsburgh neighbor,
gives RB drawing lessons.

Grandparents move to East
Liberty, Pittsburgh; RB lives
with them and attends
Peabody High School.

Graduates from Peabody
High School. Enters Lincoln
University, Oxford, Pennsylvania.

Transfers from Lincoln University
to Boston University for two years; takes
many art courses and becomes star
pitcher on varsity baseball team.

Meets Elmer Simms Campbell,
first black cartoonist for such
publications as Saturday
Evening Post, Esquire,

and New Yorker.

Transfers from Boston University
to New York University (NYU).
Does cartoon illustrations for
NYU publication, The Medley.

Produces political cartoons for The
, activist journal sponsored
by the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People.

24 February: Cartoon
published in Colliers, signed
Howard Bearden, Jr.

September 1935 - May 1937: Publishes
weekly cartoons in The Afro-American

June: Graduates from
NYU with Bachelor of
Science in Education.

Group Exhibition
12 February - 12 March:
New York, Exhibition of Sculpture
and Paintings Presented by the
Art Committee of the
Labor Club:

First Solo Exhibition
4 - 11 May: 306 West 141st Street, Romare
Bearden: Oils, Gouaches, Watercolors, Drawings
(1937 - 1940)
. Seven oils, six gouaches, five
watercolors, six drawings. Catalogue.

Moves studio to 243 West 125th Street, Apollo Theater building.
Group Exhibition 16 October - 7 November: McMillen, Inc., New York,
Negro Art: Contemporary: The Visitation (1941), Woman Picking Cotton.
Other artists include Eldzier Cortor, Joseph Delaney, William H. Johnson,
Lewis; selection from art critic Frank Crowninshield's African sculpture
collection on display in adjoining gallery. Catalogue.

April: Enlists as private in army. Assigned to First
Headquarters, Fifteenth Regiment, all-black 372d
Infantry Division. Regiment transferred from Fort Dix,
New Jersey, to Harlem to guard New York City
subways against sabotage.

16 September: Bessye Bearden dies suddenly from pneumonia.
Group Exhibition 3 - 31 January 1943: Dallas Museum of Fine Arts,
Time-Life-Fortune Exhibit: Manpower (also known as Factory
Workers; 1942, gouache) previously published as frontispiece for
"The Negro's War" in June 1942 issue of Fortune.

Solo Exhibition 13 February - 3 March:
G Place Gallery, Washington, D.C., Ten Hierographic Paintings
by Sgt. Romare Bearden
. All gouaches. Catalogue.

Summer: Through Crosby RB meets Samuel M. Kootz whose newly
established gallery represents William Baziotes, [George] Byron
Browne, Alexander Calder, Adolph Gottlieb, Carl Holty, Fernand Leger,
Robert Motherwell. Bearden joins gallery stable, which holds monthly
meetings to discuss art and aesthetics.

November: Publishes "The Negro Artist's Dilemma" in Critique:
A Review of Contemporary Art; criticizes Harmon Foundation for
fostering mediocre African-American art.

Solo Exhibition 24 February - 5 March: Kootz Gallery,
New Paintings by Bearden. Eighteen drawings and watercolors
inspired by Francois Rabelais' sixteenth-century literary
work, Gargantua and Pantagruel. Catalogue.

Fall: RB begins long correspondence about art with Carl Holty,
University of Georgia, Athens. Leads to joint authorship of
The Painter's Mind: A Study of the Relations of Structure
and Space in Painting

February - August:
Takes leave from Department of Social Services,
travels to Paris under GI Bill of Rights, studies philosophy
with Gaston Bachelard at Sorbonne and French at
Institut Britannique; also studies Buddhism.

RB and Dave Ellis found Bluebird
Music Company.

Goup Exhibitions 17 March - 16 May: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Sculpture, Watercolors, Drawings,
second half of Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Sculpture, Watercolors and Drawings: Walls of Troy
(1946 - 47, watercolor). Other artists include Calder, Naum Gabo, Lawrence, Ad Reinhardt. Catalogue.
2 November - 2 December: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Lewisohn Collection: Untitled -- Golgotha
(1945, watercolor). Other artists include Paul Cezanne, Paul Gauguin, Matisse, and Picasso. Catalogue.

Returns to work at
New York City Department
of Social Services.

4 September: Marries Nanette Rohan whom
RB met at New York benefit for hurricane victims in
West Indies. They live with RB's father in apartment
on Morningside Drive.

Philosopher Hannah Arendt and
husband, Heinrich Blücher, urge RB
to focus more on painting and
less on music.

22 March: Becomes member of
American Society of Composers,
Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Moves with Nanette to loft at 357
Canal Street, Manhattan, where he
lives for the rest of his life.

Gallery owners Arne Ekstrom
and Michel Warren visit RB's
studio, express interest
in showing new work.

Cedric Dover's American Negro Art,
published by New York Graphic Society,
includes RB's Untitled (He Is Arisen).

Daniel Cordier & Michel Warren, Inc.,
later renamed Cordier & Ekstrom Inc.,
represents RB until his death.

July: RB invites artists to meet at his Canal Street studio to discuss political events
related to civil rights and plight of blacks in America. Named "Spiral," the group seeks
to answer question "What is black art?" Group rents space on Christopher Street and
begins to meet weekly, plan exhibitions, and make arrangements for attending march
on Washington led by Martin Luther King, Jr., in August.

RB appointed first art director of newly established Harlem Cultural
Council, a prominent African-American advocacy group with several
hundred members.

Solo Exhibition 1 - 31 October: Corcoran Gallery
of Art, Washington, D.C., Projections. Five
collages, twenty-two photostats. Catalogue.

Group Exhibition 11 September - 16 October: University of
California, Los Angeles, Dickson Art Center, The Negro
in American Art:
Prevalence of Ritual: The Annunciation,
Six Panels on a Southern Theme.

Active in founding of Studio Museum
in Harlem, New York.

One of fifty founding members of the Black Academy of
Arts and Letters, designed to "define, preserve, promote
and develop the arts and letters of black people."

Retires from Department of Social Services to work full-time in studio.
March: "Rectangular Structure in My Montage Paintings" published in Leonardo,
journal published by International Society for Arts, Sciences, and Technology.

Solo Exhibition 25 March - 7 June: Museum of Modern Art, New York,
Romare Bearden: The Prevalence of Ritual. Retrospective of
fifty-six works travels to National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington,
D.C. and several national venues. Catalogue.

Elected sixth president, board of directors, Harlem Cultural
Council. Six Black Masters of American Art by RB and Harry
Henderson, published by Zenith Books, examines the work of
Duncanson, Johnston, Lawrence, Pippin, Savage, and Tanner.

January: Appointed to three-year term on American Academy of Arts and
Letters/National Institute of Arts and Letters Awards for Art committee.
Awarded honorary doctorate in fine arts, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.
November: The Art of Romare Bearden: The Prevalence of Ritual by
M. Bunch Washington, published by Harry N. Abrams.

Designs cover for Harvard Advocate, vol. 107, no. 4,
special issue, Black Odyssey: A Search for Home. Designs
Spring Festival, tapestry published by Modern Master
Tapestries, Inc., New York.

Consultant to Schomburg Center for Research in Black
Culture, New York Public Library; focuses on acquisition
of artworks. Produces Recollection Pond with Pace
Editions/Gloria Ross Tapestries, New York.

Awarded Gold Medal for achievement in the
arts by the governor of North Carolina.

18 April: The Street (Composition for Richard Wright) published in New York Times.
May: Gives commencement speech and receives honorary doctorate in fine arts from
Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. Receives honorary doctorate from North
Carolina Central University, Durham.

13 October: Presentation of Carol Jenkins' interview,
"Profile of Romare Bearden," on "Positively Black,"
WNBC-TV, channel 4.

Approximately thirty New York cityscapes in
watercolor executed for opening credits of John
Cassavetes' film Gloria.
22 October: Proclaimed Romare Bearden Day,
Oakland, California.

5 January: Attends reception at White House in celebration of the print
publication Presidential Portfolio. Includes RB's Pepper Jelly Lady (1980).
13 November: RB's etching Sunday Morning at Avila commissioned to
commemorate eighty-fifth birthday of composer Virgil Thomson for
Carnegie Hall performance of Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts.

Communications, RB's mural for
Howard University, Washington, D.C., unveiled.
Solo Exhibition 14 February - 28 March: Birmingham Museum
of Art, Alabama, Romare Bearden: Jazz. Features work from
1978 to 1981. Travels nationally. Catalouge.

Solo Exhibition 11 - 26 March: Sheldon Ross Gallery,
Birmingham, Michigan, New York At Night: Recent Watercolors.

24 May: National Academy of Design, screening of film, Bearden Plays
by Billie Allen and Nelson Breen, followed by RB lecture about
influence of jazz on his work.

Group Exhibition 27 January - 30 June: Studio Museum in Harlem, New York,
Tradition and Conflict: Images of a Tur­bulent Decade, 1963 - 1973. Among the
fifty-five artists included are Malcolm Bailey, Catlett, Dana Chandler, Chase-Riboud,
Gilliam, Lawrence, Parks, Pindell, Ringgold, Saunders. Catalogue.

Solo Exhibition 16 September - 16 November: Detroit Institute of Arts,
Michigan, Romare Bearden: Origins and Pro­gressions, retrospective
exhibition of fifty-seven works travels to Bronx Museum of the Arts,
New York. Catalogue.

12 March: Romare Bearden dies.
6 April: Memorial service at Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Derek Walcott, Ralph Ellison, and Mary Schmidt Campbell, Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for New York City, speak at service. An exhibition of works by RB is installed at the cathedral.
May: Nanette accepts for her husband post­humous Lifetime Achievement Award from Studio Museum in Harlem.

Illustrates A Visit to the Country, children's book by
Herschel Johnson, published by Harper and Row in 1989.

11 May - 10 June: ACA Gallery, New York, Romare Bearden (1911 - 1988): A Memorial Exhibition. Catalogue.

14 April - 11 August: Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, Memory and Metaphor: The Art of
Romare Bearden.
Retrospective exhibition of 141 works. Travels until 1993 to national venues
including: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Wight Gallery, University of California,
Los Angeles; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; National
Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Catalogue.

Pantheon Books, New York, publishes A History of African-American Artists: From 1792
to the Present,
cowritten by RB and Harry Henderson who together dedicated many years
to researching and writing this comprehensive survey of African-American art.
Mural, City of Glass, based on 1982 maquette, installed at East Tremont Avenue and
Williamsburg Road (elevated) Station, Bronx, Metropolitan Transit Authority, New York.

14 September - 4 January 2004: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.,
The Art of Romare Bearden. One hundred and forty works. Exhibition
travels to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Dallas Museum of Art;
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; High Museum of Art,
Atlanta. Catalogue.

September 2004 - March 2005:
Romare Bearden Homecoming Celebration, New York. A citywide celebration honoring Bearden with special events, art, music, dance, educational and family programs. Over 20 cultural and educational institutions in all the boroughs offer exciting programs as a tribute and a joyous welcome home to NYC for the artist.

Bearden home becomes hub for writers, intel­lec­tuals, and artists, including Charles Alston (RB's cousin by marriage), Aaron Douglas, W. E. B. Du Bois, Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, and Fats Waller.
Spends periods of time with relatives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; and Lutherville, Maryland.
Grandmother Carrie and step-grandfather George Banks owned Banks' Boardinghouse on Pennsylvania Avenue near steel mills.
The first black woman elected to a local school board, she serves until 1939.
Frequents Augusta Savage's Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts on West 143d Street.
Bessye Bearden becomes New York editor for the Chicago Defender, African-American weekly newspaper with largest circulation in nation. RB writes occasional short pieces on such topics as baseball for the newspaper.
Pitches for Boston Tigers, all-black minor-league baseball team; refuses offer from owner of Philadelphia Athletics a place in professional base­ball if he agrees to pass for white. Creates covers and illustrations for university publication, The Beanpot.
March: Publishes cover of National Urban League-sponsored Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life.
April 1934 - January 1936: Cartoons published in several monthly issues of The Crisis.
December: Publishes "The Negro Artist and Modern Art" in Opportunity, criticizing African-American artists for lack of commitment to the representation of contemporary life.
September: Takes night class at Art Students League.
Fall: Becomes caseworker for the Harlem office of NYC Department of Social Services.Frequents Harlem nightclubs, including Savoy Ballroom, Lafayette Theater, Small's Paradise, etc., places that later appear in images. Attends meeting of about fifty black artists at 135th Street YMCA. Group becomes Harlem Artists' Guild, led by Augusta Savage.
December 1937: Publishes "The Negro in Little Steel" in Opportunity.
RB meets painter Walter Quirt who introduces him to other artists,including Stuart Davis.
The exhibition features: Card Players, Supper, Soup Kitchen (1937, oil), Coalyard, Conversation Piece, Street Corner #1, Street Corner #2, Steel Mills. Other artists include Alston, Bannarn, Selma Burke, and Lewis. Catalogue.
Rents studio at 33 West 125th Street. Neighbors include painters Lawrence and Lewis, poet McKay, writer William Attaway, and photographers Morgan and Marvin Smith. Begins to work in gouache on brown paper.
Group Exhibition 4 July - 2 September: Tanner Art Galleries, Chicago, Exhibition of the Art of the American Negro (1851 to 1940).
Group Exhibition 9 December - 3 January 1942: Downtown Gallery, New York, American Negro Art, 19th and 20th Centuries: After Church, The Bridge (1941). Other artists include Robert Duncanson, Palmer Hayden, Lewis, Archibald Motley, Horace Pippin, Charles White. Selection from this exhibition travels to Faunce House Gallery, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Catalogue.
Group Exhibition 5 - 30 January: Institute of Modern Art, Boston, organized with Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts, Paintings, Sculpture by American Negro Artists: Sharecroppers (1940). Other artists include Elizabeth Catlett, Malvin Gray Johnson, Lois Mailou Jones, White. Catalogue.
Group Exhibition 2 - 30 April: Exhibition Gallery, Atlanta University, Georgia, Third Annual Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture, and Prints by Negro Artists: The Two Generations.
30 May: Honorably discharged from army as sergeant in cannon company. Solo Exhibition 8 - 27 October: Kootz Gallery, New York, First New York Exhibition, Romare Bearden: The Passion of Christ. Catalogue.
Group Exhibition 3 January - 11 February: Albany Institute of History and Art, New York, The Negro Artist Comes of Age: A National Survey of Contemporary American Artists: After Church (1941), Baptism (c. 1941), Factory Workers (1942). Other artists include Douglas, William H. Johnson, Hale Woodruff as well as young artists from 306, including Crichlow, Lawrence, Hughie Lee Smith. Catalogue.
Solo Exhibition 25 March - 13 April: Kootz Gallery, Bearden: Paintings and Water Colors Inspired by Garcia Lorca's "Lament for a Bullfighter" (Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias, 1935; English translation, 1937).
Group Exhibitions 9 January - 2 February: Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, Modern Religious Paintings: Annunciation. Other artists include Max Beckmann, Salvador Dali, Marsden Hartley, Picasso, Georges Rouault. Catalogue.
27 January - 10 February: Clearwater Art Museum, Clearwater, Florida, Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting: Seventh Annual Southeastern Circuit 1945-46: Christ Healing the Sick. Other artists include Milton Avery, Grosz, Philip Guston, Edward Hopper. Catalogue.
Group Exhibition 8 - 27 September: Kootz Gallery, Women: A Collaboration of Artists and Writers. RB's Woman with an Oracle is accompanied by William Carlos Williams' text "Woman as Operator." Other artists include Baziotes, Georges Braque, Browne, Holty, Leger, Motherwell, Picasso, with essays by Paul Goodman, Weldon Kees, Jean Paul Sartre, and others. Catalogue.
27 September: Appears on television show "Court of Issues," a mock trial that asks "What type of art is appropriate for today?" RB as counsel and Kootz as witness defend expressionism against realism and abstraction. Audience votes in favor of expressionism after RB's eloquent closing remarks.
Solo Exhibition 9 - 25 November: Niveau Gallery, New York, The Iliad: 16 Variations by Romare Bearden. Sixteen watercolors. Catalogue.
Has letters of introduction from Kootz to Picasso, Braque, Constantin Brancusi, Henri Matisse, and Mary Myerson (who ran Cinematique Francais); letters from Holty to painters Jean Helion and Hans Reichel; meets Wifredo Lam. Frequents Cafe Dome, Gentry's and Honey Johnson's Club Galerie, a salon by day and jazz club by night. Also meets with Harlem friends in Paris, who include jazz musicians Sidney Bechet and Roy Eldridge, photographers Morgan and Marvin Smith; writers Wright and Howard Swanson.
RB writes lyrics for Ellis' songs "Hello and Goodbye," "Little Girl," "Promise of Spring," and "Street Without a Name" (music by Ruth Frank); RB writes about twenty songs with Fred Norman and Laerteas "Larry" Douglas, which are published by Laerteas Music Company. "Seabreeze" is most successful; used by Seagrams to promote mixed drink of same name. Other successes include "Missus Santa Claus," "My Stocking Is Empty," and "My Candy Apple," sung by child star Leslie Uggams.
Group Exhibition 9 November - 8 January 1956: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting: John at Patmos. Other artists include Bazziotes, Richard Dieben-Korn, Joan Mitchell, O'Keeffe. Catalogue.
Studies calligraphy with a bookseller, Mr. Wu, on Bayard Street.
Solo Exhibition 20 January - 19 February: Michel Warren Gallery (later renamed Daniel Cordier & Michel Warren, Inc.), New York. Large abstract canvases from late 1950s, including Friends of the Night, Night Watches in Silence, Wine Star, Silent Valley of Sunrise, South of the Great Sea, Wings of the Dragon. Catalogue.
January: Golden Dawn (1960?, oil) installed in pre-inaugural suite of President John F. Kennedy, Hotel Carlyle, New York.
Solo Exhibition 6 - 24 October: Cordier & Ekstrom, Inc., New York, Projections, Twenty-one photostatic enlargements (photostats) of collages. Catalogue.
Group Exhibitions 19 March - 4 April: National Institute of Arts and Letters, Academy Art Gallery, New York, An Exhibition of Contemporary Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Art. Exhibits two 1964 collages and five 1964 photostats.
14 May - 4 June: 147 Christopher Street, New York, Spiral Group Exhibition, First Group Showing: Works in Black and White: Conjur Woman (c.1965, photostat). Other artists include Emma Amos, Crichlow, Lewis, Richard Mayhew, Merton Simpson. Catalogue.
Exhibition travels to University of California, Davis (1 November - 15 December); Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego (6 January - 12 February 1967); Oakland Art Museum (24 February - 19 March 1967). Other artists include Alston, Hunt, Pippin, Betye Saar. Catalogue.
January: Untitled (City Scene) appears on cover of Fortune magazine.
1 November: RB's collage, John Lindsay, appears on cover of Time magazine.
20 April: Soul History appears on cover of New York Times Magazine.
June: The Painter's Mind: A Study of the Relations of Structure and Space in Painting, written with Carl Holty, released by Crown Publishers.
February: RB appears with Ossorio on "You're Part of Art," on WNBC-TV. March: Designs cover for The Crisis, which features essay by Ellison on RB.
June: Receives John Solomon Guggenheim Foundation grant to write history of African-American art.
Five, film produced by Seagrams Distillers Company that focuses on the life and work of five artists, RB, Chase-Riboud, Betty Blayton Taylor, Hunt, and White, released for noncom­mercial viewing.
Group Exhibition 13 May - 6 September: Newark Museum, New Jersey, Black Artists: Two Generations: Adoration of the Wise Men, Dream (1970). Exhibition combines reconstruction of American Negro Art -- Contemporary Painting and Sculpture held in 1944 at Newark Museum with work of younger contemporary artists. Other artists include Chase-Riboud, Lewis, Mayhew, Overstreet. Catalogue.
17 May: Elected to National Institute of Arts and Letters. Other new members are Adolph Gottlieb, Philip Guston, Constantino Nivola, and Stuyve­sant Van Veen. July: Justice appears on cover of Contact, a journal for black artists. RB also serves on board of directors for the journal.
12 May: Awarded honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. RB's commencement speech, "Humility," comparing technology to art, published in the New York Times, 21 July.
Employs June Kelly to manage exhibitions outside of New York, his print publications, and his numerous commissions. This association is maintained for the rest of RB's life.
11 August: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance of Night Creature introduced by projections of collages from RB's Of the Blues series.
Solo Exhibition 12 October - 4 January 1981: Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, Romare Bearden, 1970 - 1980. Retrospective exhibit of fifty-six works travels to many national venues.
Limited Editions Club publishes The Caribbean Poems of Derek Walcott, Derek Walcott's poems illustrated with RB's watercolors.
Completes designs for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater presentation of "Blueshift," choreography by Talley Beatty.
17 May: RB and Nanette attend NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Annual Civil Rights Institute. LDF commissions lithograph The Lamp to celebrate thirtieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.
Mural, Quilting Time, installed in conjunction with retrospective exhibition at Detroit Institute of Arts. Nanette Bearden's Contemporary Dance Theater, with sets and costumes designed by RB, performs at New York's Music Hall in conjunction with Bronx showing.
Group Exhibitions 16 December - 28 February 1987: Jamaica Arts Center, New York, Masters and Pupils: The Education of the Black Artist in New York, 1900 - 1980: Three Figures (1946). Other artists include Alston, Benton, Delaney, Gwathmey, Holty, Lawrence, Lewis, Ringgold, Saunders, Vytlacil, Whitten, Woodruff. Exhibition travels to Metropolitan Life Gallery, New York (10 March - 24 April 1987).
June: Receives National Medal of Arts from President Reagan at White House. Other recipients include singer Ella Fitzgerald, writer and scholar Howard Nemerov, choreographer Alwin Nikolais, sculptor Isamu Noguchi, composer William Schumann, and writer and poet Robert Penn Warren.
Fall: Simon & Schuster, New York, publishes Li'l Dan, the Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story, the only children's book both written and illustrated by RB. The manuscript was discovered in RB's archives.
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