Romare Bearden Fundation



special program



the Bearden Foundation organized exhibition:

Kamoinge + En Foco:

Advancing the  Frame

ON View NOW through March 26, 2015

at the Nathan Cummings Foundation



And to Columbia University

Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey

Now through March 14, 2015

See exhibitions

Click here For Free Programs As part of Columbia University's Homer in harlem series



JOIN our online campaign to

raise Funds for the work we do

to bring art curriculum back

into public school classrooms

We need your help!


Romare Bearden liked to say:

"I think that the artist has to be something like a whale swimming with his mouth wide open, absorbing everything until he has what he really needs." 

Busy hands, creative minds

Field trip to DC Moore Gallery, looking at the work of Bearden and other artists up close

Portrait of a Young Artist

The Romare Bearden Foundation has touched the lives of many students and young artists in New York, but we know we can do even more.


Your support will help us expand to reach young people in New York City and across the country, strengthening our commitment to Bearden’s legacy and bringing an arts curriculum to the students who most need it.


Donate here

or go to


Help us to continue to provide

new programs



A year of incredible park days

and programming everything

from art, music, baseball events

& peaceful protests. It's the "it"

spot in Uptown!





Hartford Murals find a home


Read about it in  The HArtford COURANT

And other viewS on Bearden work

cross the   country...


At the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester , New Hampshire

At the Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA

At the Evolve Gallery, Sacramento, CA

From the Smithsonian

In June issue of art news magazine




"Pittsburgh Memory" on new

Roots cd cover. Check it out!




A very special THANKS to all of

our fans and supporters,

we appreciate you!


"A New Odyssey"

festive fundraiser

April 10, 2014

(Photos by E. lee White)

A star studded night - the 2014 fundraiser to benefit the foundation's Educational Programs.

WHERE: the Lighthouse at chelsea piers in New York City. See more photos Here

HONORING: The President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, John W. Ashe (pictured) ;

presidential portrait Artist simmie Knox;

businessman, collector e.t. williams, emeritus chair of our board of directors.

"Hybrid Muse, Variation Y" by Richard Hunt



Hosted by: T.J. HOLMES

Journalist and cable news host

Featured: silent auction, supendous supper, special guests, and entertainment by recording artist Luke James and Dj Rashida!

Read what

Luke James has to say...

"Luke James raves about

his black nativity co-star

Jennifer hudson"









The Romare Bearden Park,

Charlotte, now open!

We were on site for the Grand ribbon cutting ceremony and Labor Day weekend of activities. see more pictures here:

Mecklenburg Co. parks

The Charlotte Observer's SLIDE SHOW




Ariel view of the Romare Beardn Park, Uptown, Charlotte NC.

The Co-Directors and Bearden Family join in...



*Update on Catalogue Raisonne of

Bearden Prints (See Publications)



purchase the new Bearden  "the

Block" vinyl tote, online

from the romare Bearden

foundation  Here


         vinyl bag: 19.95 (plus tax)

               To purchase online go here              




Thank you to all who came out in the snow and cold to attend our conversation.

How do you Fair? A discussion on

art basel miami beach

With Danny Simmons, Artist and co-founder/Chairman of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation

Last Tuesday... We had an insightful discussion of the benefits and drawbacks to one of the most talked about contemporary art fairs.

Organizers of ART Basel Miami Beach say the 2013 fair drew 75,000 people over a 5-day period last week. The NYTimes referred to the fair as “the art world’s biggest bake sale."

Attracting international collectors and an invasion of celebrities, it seems the place to be for every artist trying to “make it” in the art world. Whether you have gallery representation or not, and with all the cuts in funding for the arts, should we all “break it to make it?”

Danny Simmons is a painter and co-founder of the Rush Philanthropic arts Foundation, and founder of RUSH and Corridor galleries in NYC.

Tuesday December 17, 2013

More to come in the new year!


How do you Fair? was an event of the Cinque Artist program that promotes the spirit and legacy of Cinque Gallery, founded by Bearden and artists Norman Lewis and Ernest Crichlow in 1968, with the aim to gather artists and provide exchange of information, advice and resources

This program is in part sponsored by the New York City Department of Cultural AffAirs



Our Visit to the White House

June 5, 2013

Bearden Board member Irie Harris, Co-Dir. Diedra Harris-Kelley, Board Member  Sheila Rohan, and Co-Dir. Johanne Bryant-Reid attended a special reception at the White House in Honor of american art.

The Co-Directors and Agnes Gund

Above, "The Builder's" by Jacob Lawrence, in the White House Historical Association collection. The Co-Directors pose with Art Patron and President Emeritus of MoMA, Agnes Gund. The reception was in honor of american art, and attended by artists and art professionals from new york to hawaii. It was an opportunity to meet others working in Arts Education and to view the extraordinary art in the White House collection.


The event was hosted by the first lady with a rousing speech congratulating us all on our excellent work, and asking us to keep up the good work because she and the President would.

Above, a jazz band greets guests.

June 5, 2013






Jazz.Covers.politics: Album Art in

an age of activism  (Ended)

exhibition Organized by

the Romare Bearden  Foundation

On view

April 11 - August 23, 2013


program event: June 6, 2013

Conversation with pianist/ composer Randy Weston and Scholar/ curator, Robert O'Meally about Jazz. covers. 

6:00 pm-8:00 pm

RSVP by May 3,


Artwork by Romare Bearden

Robert O'Meally is the Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and founder and former director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. Along with Diedra Harris-Kelley and C. Daniel Dawson, he has curated this exhibition and a series of shows for Jazz at Lincoln Center (NYC). He has written extensively on jazz, Ralph Ellison, Billie Holiday and Romare Bearden.  O'Meally will lead the program with an overview of the exhibition and conversation with Randy Weston.  

Pianist/composer Randy Weston has had a long engagement with the music and musicians of Africa. Though Weston cites Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Art Tatum, and of course, Duke Ellington as his other piano heroes, it was Monk who had the greatest impact.  "He was the most original I ever heard," Weston remembers.  "He  played  like  they  must  have  played  in  Egypt  5000  years  ago."  Several of Weston's album covers are featured in the exhibition's "Black to Africa" section. He remains always on the case with
titles such as Afrika Uhuru, Khepera, Ancient Future.

  (Bille Holiday, The Original Recordings- Artwork by Romare Bearden)

at the Nathan Cummings Foundation

475 10th Avenue, 14th Floor

New York, NY 10018


To View:





Photos from Jazz.Covers.politics

Opening Reception, April 11, 2013

Below: Co-Directors of the Romare Bearden Foundation  Diedra & Johanne

Below: Brandee Younger, Imani Uzuri and Courtney Brayn are the Brayn/younger/uzuri trio supplying the evening's vibes.

On view At:

The Nathan Cummings Foundation

475 10th Avenue, 14th Floor

New York, NY 10018


Viewing Hours

10:00am-4:00pm, Monday through Friday, by appointment only

Please email



Read about Bearden in Memphis...

Work by famous artist Romare Bearden has special place in home and heart

By Fredric Koeppel

Scroll down to Read other Recent PRESS...




Check out the New Bearden Apps

As part of the traveling exhibit

"Romare Bearden:A Black Odyssey"

Download FREE at Itunes store




centennial Tribute website...

Check out the latest artists picks...




   NewLY released dvD...




          Bearden Plays Bearden
          (feature-documentary- 60 minutes)

          Directed by Nelson Breen


This Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary, narrated by James Earl Jones, is the culmination of a unique three year collaboration between Romare Bearden, the greatest African-American artist of his generation, and the filmmaker. Rarely has a film delved so deeply into the soul of an artist, discovering not only what inspired his work, but what drove him to be an artist in the first place. A special director's cut will premiere at TIFF with never-before-seen footage featuring Alvin Ailey, James Baldwin and Ntozake Shange.


Now available: Bearden Plays bearden

Screened at  Teaneck International Film Festival  with
Panel discussion: director Nelson Breen, Frank Stewart, Billie Allen Henderson and Adger Cowans






  "Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey"


at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis,Tennessee

February 5, 2013 - April 28, 2013

A Smithsonian Institution Traveling service exhibition (sites)

for more information: HERE

Get the free apps at itunes



Circe Turns a Companion of Odysseus into Swine




                      HOT off the Press!

Art and Antiques Magazine features Bearden on its OCTober issue  click here to read






in ARTnews

posted 7/19/2012 Summer 2012 issue

A concise article by artist/writer Gail Gregg on the many exhibitions, programs and performances organized to celebrate the centennial of Bearden's birthday (September 2, 1911).

Includes the US postal service's launch of 4 commemorative stamps, exhibitions at the Schomburg, The Mint Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, DC Moore Gallery...

Read about the spectacular opening parties in Charlotte for the Southern Recollections tour, and about the traveling show of prints organized by the Bearden Foundation, and upcoming highlights still to come. read more here:




                     Read other Recent PRESS...


                          - New York Times-

                      - Harlem World Magazine-

                        - Daily News-





Artist's pick their favorite


Check out our Centennial Website 

  BEARDEN 100 section

  Check for the latest ones just

         added for September!!






             Now showing...


                                     From Process to Print:

                          The Graphic Work of

                              Romare Bearden

                                   tHROUGH jANUARY 6, 2013

                                 The Hyde Collection

                            Glen Falls, New York

The Train, Etching

                                           see exhibitions





A Writer's Celebration of Romare Bearden

at the 92 St Y  ended

For more information and tickets: CLICK HERE



Elizabeth Alexander, Kim Bridgford,  

Stanley Crouch, Kwame Dawes, Sarah Lewis, Russell Goings, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, John Edgar Wideman and others   


1395 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10128 



and Exhibition on view:

The Paper of Truth: Works from the collection of Russell Goings and Evelyn Boulware



at: Milton J. Weill Art Galery

the 92 Street Y

1395 Lexington Avenue, New York





at the Studio Museum of Harlem


The third and final group of works from The Bearden Project will be on view at the Studio Museum in Harlem August 16 to October 21, 2012. The entire project can be seen on the frequently-updated exhibition site,  



The Bearden Project brings together work by contemporary artists who have all been influenced by this twentieth-century master.


The artists in The Bearden Project work in a wide range of media and are at different stages in their careers, but each was given the task of creating a work of art inspired by Bearden’s life and legacy. Visit the site to learn more about the artists: thebeardenproject


In the spirit of Bearden’s ongoing impact on the art world, The Bearden Project will continue to grow. More artworks will be added through the fall/winter 2011–12 exhibition season.


The Studio Museum in Harlem

144 West 125th Street

New York, NY 10025






Bearden at Bowie art exhibition

Thu 09/20/2012 - Wed 10/31/2012

Opening Reception

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, 6-8 p.m.

Recital Hall, BSU Fine and Performing Arts Center

Guest speaker: Diedra Harris-Kelley, Bearden's niece and co-director of the Bearden Foundation

Light refreshments will be served after a short program.


The exhibit is free and open to the public. Starting on Thursday, Sept. 20, gallery hours are:

Monday, 12-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Wednesday, 12-7 p.m.

Thursday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Friday, 2-7 p.m.

For more information: 301 860-3719


Special events scheduled during the exhibit include:

"Bearden and the Art of Collecting" Panel Discussion

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 6-8 p.m.Recital Hall, BSU Fine

and Performing Arts Center

Opening remarks:

Dorothe Rohan Dow, Bearden's sister-in-law


Panelists include:

Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, director of the Center for Race and Culture, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Baltimore

Dr. Michelle Wilkinson, director of Collections and Exhibitions, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, Baltimore

Juanita Hardy, local art collector and board member, Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia

Wisson West, owner, Gallery Serengeti, Capitol Heights, Md.

Dr. Dianne Whitfield-Locke, local art collector and lender to the "Bearden at Bowie" exhibit

Recital Hall, BSU Fine and Performing Arts Center

For more information: 301 860-3719


Exhibition at Morgan State University Radio Station Gallery:

Reception on OCTOBER 26, 2012  CLOSED


1700 E. Coldspring Lane

Baltimore, MD 21251

Phone: 443 885-3564







Thanks to all who came out the last chance to see Southern Recollections its final stop


On August 19 some 300 people joined members of the Bearden Foundation and family to take a final look at the show everyone's been talking about.

                     read the review in the NYTimes

Special guest artist Willie Cole

spoke about not hearing about Bearden as a young student and then recently learning about all the similarities in their life and work, including both attending Boston University.

Artist Willie Cole with the Co-Directors, Johanne Bryant-Reid and Diedra Harris-Kelley
Artist Willie Cole with Co-Directors Johanne Bryant-Reid and Diedra Harris-Kelley





        Newark Museum of Art

          May 23-August 19, 2012

     Sunset Limited

image: Mecklenburg Co.: Sunset Limited by Romare Bearden

This major exhibition originated at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC then traveled to the Tampa Museum of Art.



                    PasT Events:



A musical Tribute to





                                 From Process to Print:

                          The Graphic Work of

                              Romare Bearden

                                      Opened MAY 18 at the

                                    The Price Tower Arts Center,

                                        Bartlesville, Oklahoma

                                            see exhibitions





              Cinque Artist                    Program



What Happens Next?

Artist archives, papers, legacies

with the Hatch-Billops Collection


                                              February 28  







Art, Travel and the Cuban Biennial

A conversation with the artist

Ben Jones


                                                                                 March 20



         Two fun Gatherings with great artists!!


  If you missed these first two programs please join

                                                  our EMAIL list here



                             Cinque Artist Program

In the spirit and legacy of the Cinque Gallery, founded by   artists Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis and Ernest, Crichlow, the Cinque Artists Program aims to continue the idea of artists gathering to exchange information, advice and resources from their experiences.

The conversations are always interactive and informative.

The Foundation offers these programs Free and open to the public, thanks in part to:


The New York Department

                             of Cultural Affairs.




                   Macy's Celebrates

                   Black History Month with the

                        legacy of Romare Bearden



Events in: New York,                   Chicago,San Francisco,

Los Angeles,Philadelphia,

Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Atlanta Aventura, Charlotte,

New Orleans and Houston!


Thanks to all of our supporters and Bearden enthusiasts for joining us! We had an overwhelming response and beautiful displays. check out a few pictures below, more to come:

New York City -Susan Taylor (Essence Magazine)


       New York -Herald Square display

Aventura, Florida


Co-Director Johanne Bryant-Reid in Florida


Washington DC


Los Angeles










             Blues Suite, by Romare Bearden featured in

    Paris Blues Revisited exhibition at Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC

                           * ENDED*

We hosted a panel discussion on Saturday January 21st at Jazz at Lincoln Center

with the exhibition curators; Edie Shaw, daughter of Sam Shaw; and Paul Devlin, writer and contributor to Albert Murray and the Aesthetic Imagination of a Nation, recently published on University of Alabama Press.

Jazz at Lincoln Center, Time Warner Center, Columbus Circle, 5th Floor 2:00-4:00 p.m.






     Romare Bearden: The Soul OF   BlaCKNESS  Blacknes


                A Centennial Tribute

                             Through January 7, 2012


        Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
                                  515 Malcolm X Boulevard

                                   New York, NY 10037-1801
                                             (212) 491-2200


                             SEE MORE EXHIBITONS   



                      New US Postage Stamps               

         Stock up on all four new Bearden


                           Forever Stamps


                        Thanks to all who joined us for

                      the official unveiling ceremony at

      the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture


Ronald A Stroman, Deputy Postmaster General, United States Postal Service

Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem

Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

E.T. Williams, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Romare Bearden Foundation

Rashelle Parker, Manager, Marketing, New York District, United States Postal Service

and musical tribute by pianist, Courtney Bryan.



Check out the article by Walter Rutledgein Harlem World Magazine HERE          



               **** New Centennial website *****




We've developed a new website to capture  all the wonderful events happening in New York and beyond. Please visit for all the latest exhibitions, celebrations and writings.


   Also check out the the Bearden 100 feature where artists weigh in on their favorite Bearden works.





 Happy Birthday Bearden!


        Grandmother Cattie, Great Grandparents Rosa and H.B. Kennedy


                SEPTEMBER 2, 2011

                    100 years of a legacy


So we took the party down to

Charlotte, North Carolina, the artist's hometown and place of inspiration.


               "An Artist  Remembers His Birthplace"

           exhibit at the Jerald Melberg Gallery; exhibition openings at the Mint Museum; the Harvey B. Gantt   Center for Art and Culture; Imaginon Children's Library;

The Symphony performed songs co written byBearden; and Charlotte broke ground on    

                       the new Romare Bearden park!


         for more information






          Evening of Art and  Jazz    

             Spring Fundraiser


                            Was held  APRIL 11, 2011...    


We wish to thank all of our

supporters for coming out

and celebrating with us. You

made for a very special evening!

Vocalist Somi 


Top Left: Vocalist Somi and the band; Top right: Pianist Randy Weston; Center left: Lorna Harris, Toni Faye, Joan Sandler, Howard Dodson dancing to Randy Weston's trio; Co-Director, Johanne Bryant-Reid and Chairman, E.T. Williams; Bottom : Artists David Driskell, Carrie Mae Weems and Frank Stewart with Co-Director Diedra Harris-Kelley, and guests Sheri Bronfman, Lorna Harris and Danielle Amato-Milligan.

Our gratitude goes out to the performers, our sponsors and auction participants. We could not have done this all without you. 

The event was co-hosted by artists Emma Amos, David Driskell, Frank Stewart and Carrie Mae Weems, featuring a silent auction of their works.


musical tributes by pianist composer Randy Weston with Alex Blake on bass and Neil Clarke on percussion;

Vocalist Somi and her band.

and the sounds of W.Myles Reilly on keyboard

events planning by:

MVJ Consulting-201-227-8427

We thank our sponsors



And our Benefit Committee:

Peg Alston   

Valerie Lancaster Beal   

Mary Schmidt Campbell

Vivian Davidson Hewitt

Loida Nicolas Lewis

DC Moore Gallery

halley harrisburg

Michael Rosenfeld

Arden B. Shelton

Merton Simpson

David Taylor




Artists and Travel

lThe Foundation presented a panel as part of our Cinque Artist Panel series on Wednesday, December 15th at the Dwyer Center.

Panelists Helen Ramsaran, sculptor, educator

             Camille A. Brewer, fiber artist, art consultant, appraiser

             Alisha Wormsley, collage artist, photographer, educator   

The Cinque Artist Program of the Bearden Foundation is designed to assist artist with solid career building skills that enhance their opportunities for representation, exhibition and critical review.

Our popular Artist and Travel panel aims to present practicing artists in the field to offer information, advice and resources on travel nationally and abroad. Practical and anecdotal information will be exchanged and discussion encouraged to share what personal and professional impact of travel on their life, art and art practices.    

Check back here for Series 2011...                   


The Romare Bearden Foundation has moved to Harlem

The Romare Bearden Foundation has relocated to Harlem, where Bearden lived, worked and found creative inspiration.

Our office is located on the second floor of the historic Theresa Towers at 2090 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard at 125th Street.

We continue to realize our mission of preserving, perpetuating and making publicly accessible Bearden's extraordinary legacy. Here are the projects and programs we're currently working on:

  • School Partnership   Our partnership with a new Harlem middle school, Global Technology Preparatory, presents a semester long program with our teaching artist in the classroom. The Spring '09 collaboration resulted in a one day exhibition/auction of student work at the Essie Green Galleries (Convent Ave, Harlem) on June 5, 2010; and a small animated film funded by the Tribeca Film Institute. This Fall our teacher leads the charge to beautify the school with a new mural.
  • Our traveling exhibition From Process to Print: Graphic Works by Romare Bearden began its 3 year national tour at Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Maine on October 1. It has since exhibited at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore and Chicago Cultural Center and the Austin Museum of Art.    For more on this tour click HERE.
  • The 124 page, full color exhibition catalogue accompanying the exhibition was published by Pomegranate Communications.
  • In March, 2010 the major symposium, Romare Bearden in the Public Realm, was presented at the August Wilson Center for African American Art in Pittsburgh, where Bearden spent some formative years. Over 22 scholars and artist convened to discuss Pittsburgh's influence on Bearden and the works that fall outside the studio. This included his cartoons, murals and printmaking.

Sign up on our e-mail list and we’ll keep you informed about our progress, and our activities and programs HERE.





Romare Bearden’s  posters and watercolors will now be on display and for purchase at the Ruby Bute Gallery in St. Martin.  

 “Romare Bearden, the great American artist, spent much of the last two decades of his life on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. For Bearden, the experience was vital…” Art will go where energy is”, He often said. “I find a great deal of energy in the Caribbean”.

-Excerpt from Caribbean Dimensions by Sally and Richard            (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006)

In the 1980’s there was the Nanette Bearden Gallery on Front Street, St. Maarten. Since closing there has not been any representation of Bearden on the island. We are pleased that the Ruby Bute Gallery will be featuring Romare in her gallery.

Ruby Bute, Artist, author, poet, was born on the island of Aruba to St. Maarten parents. She has lived in St. Maarten since 1976 and has been actively involved in cultural activities on the island and abroad.

Ms. Bute began her art career in 1982 with an exhibit at St. Maarten’s Annual Arts and Crafts exhibit.  She has exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum in Holland and her paintings grace the Juliana Airport and many restaurants and businesses on St. Maarten

                                   RUBY BUTE GALLERY

                                        LA BATTERIE

                                     RUE FRIARS BAY

                                   ST. MARTIN, 97150

                      CELL: 599-523-2337 + CELL: 599-580-5533




From the 2007 Symposium in Chicago comes the book of essays...


Bearden in the Modernist Tradition

Introduction by Pamela Ford. Text by Robert O'Meally, Kobena Mercer, et al.

ISBN: 978-0-615-20291-4  US Price:  $30.00

Pbk, 8 x 11 in. / 134 pgs /26 color / 9 b&w

This book is based on the 2007 Bearden Symposium held at Columbia College in Chicago. This volume examines Bearden's relationship to Modernism, Postmodernism and the avant-garde, through his wide ranging interests and associations with artists, intellectuals and musicians of his era--including Duke Ellington, Ralph Ellinton and Staurt Davis. With essays by Kobena Mercer, Robert G. O'Meally, Dawoud Bey, Geoffrey Jacques, Courtney Martin, Paul D. Miller, Amy Mooney, Kymberly Pinder, Greg Foster-Rice, Rael Jero Salley, Helen Shannon, and others.


Distributed by D.A.P. / Distributor Art Publishers

Romare Bearden in The Classroom – NEW VISUAL ARTS CURRICULUM AVAILABLE!!!

‘Produced by the Romare Bearden Foundation, the content rich curriculum, Romare Bearden in the Classroom, includes lesson plans, an annotated teacher’s guide, art reproductions/posters, a CD-ROM and historical timeline. All lessons are aligned with the NYC Blueprint for the Arts and the NEA curriculum standards.

To purchase the Romare Bearden in The Classroom Visual Arts Curriculum click HERE

Archived News


 National Symposium Series

 March 2010


 In retrospect


The two-day symposium was held on March 26 & 27 at the brand new August Wilson Center for African American Culture in downtown Pittsburgh (

This year's symposium examined how Bearden merged the message and medium of his art, especially in the form of political cartoons, public art commissions and prints, enabling him to reach and communicate artistically and socially outside of the studio and with a broader public.

The artist's strongly defined social and political consciousness was shaped by his early childhood experiences in the southern United States, Harlem and Pittsburgh. His commitment to social causes is evident by his involvement as a social activist and by a lifelong commitment to the causes of artists of African descent. 

Pittsburgh became a later home to Bearden's maternal grandmother and features large in many of his iconic works. In turn his work was the inspiration for Pittsburgh's own August Wilson. The playwright's Piano Lesson was directly drawn from Bearden's painting of the same name. 

The symposium featured a musical performance by the Alton Merrell Trio with Alton Merrell on Piano, Dwanye Dolphin on Bass, James Johnson, III on Drums.


                       2010 Symposium Panels and Participants

Keynote address by Dr. Mary Schmidt-Campbell,  Dean, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU

Bearden in Posterity

  • Bridget Cooks, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine 
  • David Driskell, Artist and Scholar, Driskell Center, MD
  • Jerald Melberg, Jerald Melberg Gallery, NC
  • Moderator Jacqueline Francis, Ph.D., California College of the Arts

Bearden and the Performing Arts

  • Walter Rutledge, Choreographer and Associate Artistic Director of the Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theatre, NY
  • Sandra Shannon, Ph.D., Howard University, DC
  • Harry Elam, Ph.D., Stanford University, CA
  • Moderator Kimberly C. Ellis Dr. Goddess, Ph.D. & performer, PA

Pittsburgh Memories

  • Laurence Glasco, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
  • John M. Brewer, Trolley Station Oral History Museum, PA
  • Kymberly N. Pinder, Ph.D., School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Moderator Joe Trotter, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, PA

A CONVERSATION with John Edgar Wideman  writer, Brown University, RI   

with  Jacqueline Francis, Ph.D., California College of the Arts

Art in the Service of Politics

  • Robert G. O'Meally, Ph.D., Columbia University, NY
  • Amy Kirschke, Ph.D., University North Carolina-Wilmington
  • Stacy I. Morgan, Ph.D., University of Alabama
  • Moderator Kirk Savage, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

The Medium Is the Message

  • Camara Dia Holloway, Ph.D., University of Delaware
  • Carol Brown, Founding President of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
  • Nikki Greene, Ph.D., Swarthmore College
  • Moderator Richard Purcell, PhD., Carnegie-Mellon University

Printmaking as Practice

  • Kathy Caraccio, Artist and Master Printer, NY
  • Mary Lee Corlett, National Gallery of Art, DC
  • Joseph Kleineman and Maureen Turci, JK Fine Art Editions, NJ
  • Moderator Pamela Ford, Artist and former Program Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation

This program was made possible by The Heinz Endowments.

The Heinz Endowments support efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center for learning and educational excellence, and a region that embraces diversity and inclusion.



The Romare Bearden Southern Sensibility Tribute Gala, will be held on September 25, 2008, at the exquisite new Espace on West 42nd Street and 11th Avenue.   The theme this year will focus on the impact of the South, it’s people and culture, on Bearden’s art and life. Bank of America will be one of our honorees.

Our annual galas celebrate Bearden’s extraordinary life, art and legacy as well as gain support for our mission and raise awareness about our programs. Proceeds from the event support the Foundation’s efforts to create arts and educational opportunities for young people and to inspire them with examples from Bearden’s own life and work.  As well proceeds support programs that nurture the artistic and professional development of talented, aspiring young African American artists and scholars.  Together these goals, along with preserving and perpetuating Bearden’s rich artistic and intellectual legacy, ensure that he continues to have an impact on this and future generations.



The well attended symposium, Romare Bearden in the Modernist Tradition, which was funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art, was held on April 20 – 21, 2007, at Columbia College Chicago at the Film Row Cinema Theater.  The symposium, part of the Bearden National Symposium series, launched in 1998 as a legacy program of the Foundation, encourages and supports new scholarship on Bearden in association with colleges and universities across the country. 

Cultural theorist and critic Kobena Mercer PhD open the symposium on Friday, April 20th with a key note address titled Romare Bearden’s Modernism: Critical Dialogues in the Diaspora Imagination. Dr. Mercer is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Visual Culture and Media at Middlesex University in London.  He is also the author of Romare Bearden:  African American Modernism at Mid-Century in Art History and Romare Bearden, 1964 Collage as Kunstwollen. 

On Saturday, April 21st a full day of presentations included scholarly papers and conversations between Bearden’s colleagues and friends that were based on the key themes like: Bearden’s practice in relation to early modernism and the artists and artistic movements that influenced him; the interchange between Bearden and his peers in several disciplines; Bearden’s influence on subsequent generations of artists as a towering figure in African American art and his far-reaching influence in the African Diaspora; and  Bearden’s use of photography, photostat and other technology through the lens of post-modernist discourse and practice.

Presenters included:

  • Emma Amos, Artist, Professor of Art, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey,
  • Dawoud Bey, Artist, Professor of Photography, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Allen Edmunds Master printmaker and President of Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Melvin Edwards, Artist, Professor of Art, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey (Retired)
  • Diedra Harris-Kelley, Artist, Program Associate, Romare Bearden Foundation
  • Geoffrey Jacques, Ph.D., Poet and Critic, Faculty of English Department, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, New York
  • Greg Foster Rice, Ph.D., Art History, Assistant Professor, Art History, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Courtney Martin, Ph.D. candidate, Art History, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Paul D. Miller/DJ Spooky, Conceptual artist, writer, and musician. 
  • Amy Mooney, Ph.D., Professor, Art History, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Robert O'Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of American Literature and Director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University New York, New York
  • Kym Pinder, Associate Professor of Art History and Director of the Master of Arts in Art History program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Raél Jero Salley, Ph.D. candidate, The University of Chicago, The Committee on the History of Culture. Adjunct Faculty, Columbia College Chicago and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • Helen Shannon, Ph.D., Art History, Director of Museum Education, University of the Arts, Philadelphia
  • William T. Williams, Artist, Professor of Art, Brooklyn College, City University of New York

A publication based on this Symposium is now available: Bearden and the Modernist Tradition to purchase:

Romare Bearden in the Classroom

Romare Bearden in the Classroom, the Foundation’s new and comprehensive curriculum was made possible with funding from JP Morgan Chase and the Ford Foundation. It includes a series of 4 color lesson plans, an educator’s guide, a CD Rom of color reproductions and 5 posters. The curriculum is being distributed locally and nationally through educators’ workshops.

Educators who would like to attend a workshop or host one in their institution should contact us at


Educators' Workshop

The first national educators’ workshop took place on Wednesday, April 25th at the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago. Sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art and was presented in cooperation with the Chicago Public Schools and the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago who hosted the workshop for sixty five educators. They represented Chicago Public Schools and several museums and community arts organizations. The day long workshop began with a greeting from the museum’s Director James Cuno and key note address by Director of Education Bob Eskridge. An introduction to the curriculum by Education Specialist and the curriculum’s author Rise Wilson included ways to integrate its content into existing lesson plans and segments of the film The Art of Romare Bearden. The participants were given a rare opportunity to view two Bearden prints in the museum’s print study room which was followed by a tour of works, similar to those that inspired Bearden, by the museum’s education staff. The final presentation by art historian Kymberly N. Pinder, Ph.D. Romare Bearden and August Wilson:  History Lessons, examined the unspoken dialogue between Wilson and Bearden’s work. The latter underscored the scope of the artist’s influence and his appeal for artists in several disciplines.

Cinque Artists Program (CAP)

Through the newly established Cinque Artists Program (CAP), the Foundation continues the legacy of Cinque Gallery, an important venue for African American artists that was co-founded by Bearden, Ernest Crichlow and Norman Lewis in 1969, and that closed permanently in 2004. As the program is developed over the next several years, CAP will assist artists at various stages by supporting them artistically and in their career and professional development through scholarships, workshops, opportunities for networking with artists and arts professionals and stipend for travel.

The program was formally launched on Thursday, March 29 with a reception at the Foundation that honored Cinque’s former director, Ruth Jett.

Two components of CAP have been launched: the Romare Bearden Scholarship at the Harlem School of the Arts and Artists Professional Development Workshops.

The Romare Bearden Scholarship at the Harlem School of the Arts

As part of it's new Cinque Artists Program, in September 2006 the Foundation launched a scholarship program at the Harlem School of the Arts. The Romare Bearden Visual Arts Scholarship at the Harlem School of the Arts is awarded to talented African American high school students enrolled in the school's visual arts program. Two scholarship recipients were selected from among the school's College Prep Program enrollees. To be selected for the program students must demonstrate financial need, a sincere interest and passion for the visual arts and a strong aspiration to continue their educational pursuits in art schools and colleges. The annual support includes tuition, registration and materials fees.

To be considered all applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • be of African descent
  • be enrolled in High school
  • be between 15-17 years
  • have a B+ average or above in school
  • be interested in pursuing a career in visual arts
  • establish financial need (based on Princeton Scholarship Review criteria)
  • be enrolled in the Harlem School of the Arts College Prep Program

For more information contact the Harlem School of the Arts at 212.926.4100 or

The Romare Bearden Visual Arts Scholarship at the Harlem School of the Arts has been made possible with support from The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Estate of Nanette Bearden.


Artist Professional Development Workshops

(Fall 2007)
The Workshops bring together experts in the field to assist artists at all experience levels and stages in their career to enhance their career-building skills and opportunities for representation, exhibition and critical review.  In the fall of 2007, the Foundation will offer the workshops in three general subject areas: artistic development, career management and financial management. Artistic development provides a forum to discuss the creative process and to view their art practice within a professional context at the end of their formal education. Career management assist artists navigate the gallery and museum system. Financial management provide information about the business side of being an artist, finding money for their work from grants and fellowships, protecting intellectual property, managing the money from sales and employment, preparing for retirement, etc. 

For more information on the Fall workshop schedule, call: 212-924-0455.  Workshops are free but reservations will be required


Phase I of Website Upgrade Project Completed!

With significant funding from the AT&T Foundation, the Romare Bearden Foundation has undertaken an extensive revision and upgrade of its website. The result is a visually arresting, content-rich, more easily navigable site that offers comprehensive information about Romare Beardens art and life and about the Foundations mission of preserving and perpetuating his legacy. The project involved updating and adding new content and sections, including a great Education Resources section and a comprehensive Timeline of Beardens life and accomplishments. Thanks to DesignPolice and fluency, the two firms that worked on the web design. Special acknowledgement to the Foundations team that worked on content and editing: Grace Stanislaus, Executive Director and Ronald Jackson, Board member and multimedia specialist, worked closely with Ellie Tweedy who volunteered an extraordinary amount of time editing the site and ensuring the accuracy of its content.