‘Figure I’ll Stay’: Responding to Life’s Rhythms of Displacement, Relocation, and Resettlement through the Figurative Works of Romare Bearden

Gloria Brinkman, Art, Harding University High School



Displacements have become the norm in urban districts, for students and teachers alike following the trickle down effects of the disparate national economic situation of recent years producing massive cuts in both state and district budgets for public education. The result has been dramatic in changes to the makeup of schools and communities.  When young people are forced into dramatic changes in their lives through movement to a new school, a new city, or a new country it poses unique challenges related to the formation of identity, the value of tradition, the preservation of ritual and the perseverance of memory.

Themes of relocation, migration and the movement of memory back and forth across time define the work of Charlotte born artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988) most notably in his unique handling of his figurative subjects. Bearden positioned figures as pivotal elements in narrative compositions of places, traditions and rituals culled from his memories of life growing up in the rural South seen through the rich cultural perspective of his African American heritage. Bearden returned to the South through his art using his memories of people, ritual and rural life as “a homeland of my imagination”. Through this curriculum unit in visual art students explore how to consider the human figure and figurative subjects for their art while decoding memories and feelings related to relocation.


Most artists take some place, and like a flower, they sink roots, looking for universal implications…My roots are in North Carolina. [1]~ Romare Bearden


The 28th of October was a Thursday, the last school day of the 1st academic quarter of the 2010-2011 school year. It was a gray day with overcast sky, yet temperate for an autumn day in North Carolina. The synergy, typical of students and teachers on the last day of the academic quarter approaching a three-day weekend, was subdued this morning by the sobering events of the past three days. My 1st period students, a group of just seven adolescents, seemed emotionally worn down in the dark of morning as the 7:15 a.m. bell rang to begin class. As if heartbroken by the loss of a loved one, they began to speak openly about their feelings in the wake of Monday’s sudden public announcement of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board’s decision to close their school. The intimacy of their class provided a timely opportunity for them to talk about the eminent change in their lives. One girl, a bright and articulate sophomore, remarked at having the misfortunate advantage of experience with displacement earlier this same year. It was immediately after her freshman year at another CMS school that the district’s re-designed boundaries and a shuffling of the locations for their magnet programs moved her chosen academic program over to Harding. “I can’t believe it,” she lamented. “They’re going to close Harding! Now, where will I go? I have had to attend a different school every year of high school, without ever leaving Charlotte!”

Ruptures have become the norm in this district, for students and teachers alike following the trickle down effects of the disparate national economic situation of recent years producing massive cuts in both state and district budgets for public education. The result has been significant in changes to the makeup of schools in CMS, elimination of programs, cuts in student transportation and the re-drawing of geographic boundaries for neighborhood schools. Both community and collegiality are seemingly denied by political decision making in flux with economic turmoil. Though I could not anticipate these events, any more than I could have anticipated the ruptures in my own life that led to my relocation to Charlotte in 2005, it has likewise left me to question my own place in all of this. For what purpose have I been brought here, to be a part of this urban school’s history, to be part of the history of these young students?

At this writing, it has been a year since the school board’s decision. The enrollment and demographics of Harding University High School have indeed changed dramatically. The student population of last year nearly tripled in size ‘overnight’ as the school absorbed over one thousand displaced students, including a large Hispanic population. In the classroom today, as on that October day in 2010, the students’ desire to cling to the familiar is evident; familiar friends, familiar language, familiar habits. Community building, though addressed with purposeful aim, seems to yet elude those most in need of its embrace. From this basis of knowledge of my students, I conceived a sequence of learning experiences for this unit through which displaced students might contribute artistically to the community of their classroom and their school while exploring personal identity.

A century ago, African American residents of Mecklenburg County were in the midst of a displacement of another sort, the Great Northern Migration. Seeking to escape the strong prejudices of the South, independent decisions were made by thousands of African Americans to move to the industrial North in search of a better life. With them they took the rhythms of their music and the traditions of their cultural and spiritual heritage settling in large urban areas such as Detroit, Chicago and Harlem. [2]

In 1915, a young African American boy named Romare Bearden (1911-1988) embarked on just such a journey with his mother and father as they moved away from Charlotte and the family’s roots in Mecklenburg County. Despite their college educations, the political economy of racism in the South had proven to be a constant thwart to the prosperity and safety of his middle class parents prompting their decision to flee North. [3] This event ushered in the first in a series of ruptures in Romare’s life as his family moved from the blue skies, warm air and bright colorful gardens of Carolina to the gray and gritty industrial life of northern cities. Bearden’s family settled in New York’s Harlem neighborhood. Because of the migration of over two million black southerners to the North, Bearden found Harlem a vibrant and welcoming place. These migrants maintained southern black culture yet in the relative freedom of the North.[4] Harlem in the 1920’s had ushered in a Renaissance of black art and culture, literature, music and jazz. As Bearden later recalled,

There was a great interchange of people coming up to Harlem from all over. You got to know all kinds of people-actors, musicians, underworld characters, intellectuals, society types. There was always a lot of movement from place to place, and it was so easy to know people.[5]

In this stimulating environment Romare Bearden himself became one the most notable artists of 20th century American art. The more I became familiar with his own personal reflections on his artistic process and the scholarship written on his life’s work, the more I could appreciate that, for Romare Bearden, the rupture of relocation had ultimately positioned him for rapture in the history of modern art.

Charlotte Celebrates Romare

I never really left Charlotte, except physically – Romare Bearden [6]

The CTI 2011 seminar, “The Art and Life of Romare Bearden”, ran concurrent with a major retrospective exhibition of Bearden’s work at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte that was on view from September 2, 2011 through January 8, 2012. The exhibition “Southern Recollections” provided intimate encounters with nearly one hundred of Bearden’s works in collage, painting, and printmaking as our community reveled in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the artist’s birth here in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 2, 1911. As an admirer of Bearden’s work since my own youth recalling my early college experiences with collage, I waited with eager anticipation for the personal and professional growth opportunity to immerse myself in Bearden’s work at the exhibition opening. The exhibition was everything I expected, and more! It was fortuitous that the seminar’s meetings were held on site at the Mint Museum’s spectacular new facility in uptown, itself a jewel in the crown of Charlotte’s new cultural arts campus. Seminar meetings included gallery walks through this collection of Bearden’s works that included his early social realist paintings, collages offering glimpses into ritual southern life, photo projections exploring racial identity and vivid landscapes depicting the places of his heart through both memory and metaphor. Original works of art serve as primary resources for the viewer affording an authentic encounter with the mind of the artist through the touch of his hand. The visual experience of the interplay between concept, texture, color, light and scale given form by the artist’s intentional use of materials makes possible deepened understandings of and appreciation for the power of art to communicate. It is a thrilling way to learn!

As I gazed in awe at the rich surfaces and media manipulations in his works on view at The Mint, I became captivated by Bearden’s unique handling of his figurative subjects. Bearden positioned figures as pivotal elements in narrative compositions of places, traditions and rituals culled from his memories of life growing up in the rural South. Bearden’s figures of women, nudes, families, musicians, storytellers and conjurers are seen through the rich cultural perspective of his African American heritage.

Through his interpretation of everyday social-historical conditions Bearden represented scenes of black life and defined a uniquely African American artistic identity.[7] Bearden’s figurative works devoted to African American themes of folk music and jazz, magic and religion, urban and rural work and recreation were dominant themes in this exhibition, and indeed formed the mainstay of his work. My seminar research sent me off on a journey of discovery. I arrived at a deepened appreciation for the life and artistic history of Charlotte’s celebrated son. Along the way, I began to make associations between the recent displacements for our district’s student populations and the similarly migratory nature of Bearden’s own youth. I realized that the inadvertent ruptures in the life of this great artist, born of the very soil we traverse, could inspire my students toward meaningful visual expression through parallel themes.

Content Objectives

When young people are faced with dramatic changes in their lives through movement to a new school, a new city, or a new country it poses unique challenges related to the formation of identity, the value of tradition, the preservation of ritual and the perseverance of memory. Though adolescents are resilient, ruptures resulting in separations and re-adjustments can be hard for them to readily accept. Students can greatly benefit from the encouragement and support of adults who understand that change often brings with it profound growth and inspiration. In the classroom, learning experiences that provide outlets for self expression, such as those that occur through the creation of art, can offer hope and healing and open a youth’s eyes to new ways of looking at his or her world.

Through this curriculum unit in visual art students will first be asked to consider where they are from and how they have come to be part of our school community. They will express their thoughts through written reflections and the creative use of maps. Students will be offered background information on the art and life of Romare Bearden with special emphasis of his use of figures. Students will study how to draw the human figure using a variety of approaches. Students will investigate historical style and traditions for depicting the human figure across time and culture and compare these to individual and group figures in Bearden’s works. Students will create using figurative subjects for their art while decoding memories and feelings related to relocation. Literacy alignments through structures such as visual analysis, comparisons and critical response will help students to understand and express the subject of art and explore ways to define meaning in their work. Students will be prompted to write expressing or evoking feelings or emotions, supporting various levels of meaning or personal interpretation, connections to their own experience, or connections to past events. The class activities for this unit support learning goals for students that encourage them to consider how, in thinking of actual or inevitable life changes, one can creatively respond to place, people or situation and purposefully contribute to a re-visioning of community. The larger goal is that students will find meaning in artistically exploring personal stories themed to the rhythms of life that bring us all together and guide our destinies. This approach supports student learning through NCSCOS Competency Goal 4 for Visual Arts as students use life surroundings and personal experiences to visually express ideas and feelings while they invent original and personal imagery that conveys meaning and grows skills useful to solving problems in daily life.

I currently teach secondary visual art at four different sequential proficiency levels as well as the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. My visual art courses are comprised of students representing a wide variety of grades, motivations, skills, and maturities and learning modes within each class. This curriculum unit is designed to be appropriate for use in the second or third year of high school art, and can be adapted to address the MYP Criteria for use in year five of the IB Middle Years program.

Guiding Questions

Some of the guiding questions important for structure in the unit include the following:

How has the human figure been expressed in art over time?

How does the depiction of the human figure vary based on perceptions of culture?

How does the depiction of the human figure express the values of a society?

What are the general proportions of the human figure in Western art? Compare these proportions to those found in Non-Western art?

How can the use of the human figure empower personal expressions of self?

How can large scale works contribute to a sense of identity, power or influence?

How does place affect identity?

How do memories shape identity?

What makes a community?

How do individuals contribute to community?

What effect does ritual practice have on a community?

What forces can divide a community?

How does artist Romare Bearden use figures in his works to express visual narratives of time and place?

How can I visually express who I am and where I am from through figurative subjects?

From Rupture to Rapture

Romare Bearden’s very early years were spent living with his parents in the home of his prosperous great-grandparents Henry B. and Rosa Catherine Kennedy on Charlotte’s South Graham Street, just set back from the main Southern Railway line. [8] Romare’s father Howard had attended Bennet College, in Greensboro around 1906, while his mother Bessye Johnson was a graduate of Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute of Petersburg, Virginia.[9] Romare’s father found employment with the New York-based Atlantic Coast Line Railroad running up and down the east coast from Washington, D.C. to Key West. His mother, Bessye J. Bearden wrote for journalistic publications while living in Charlotte.

Following the family’s move to Harlem, Bessye became well known as an ambitious activist and highly public minded woman. Bessye was New York editor of The Chicago Defender, the widely read Negro weekly. In addition she served as chairman of her local school board, national treasurer of the Council of Negro Women, and as member of the executive board of the New York Urban League. [10] Consequently, as a young boy Romare was sent back and forth between New York and his mother’s relatives in Pittsburg. Shortly after he entered first grade in Harlem, his family moved again to Saskatchewan, Canada. By the end of third grade, in 1920, the Beardens moved back to New York, but young Romare did not join them right away. He attended fourth grade in Pittsburg, living with his maternal grandmother who ran a boarding house near the steel mills.

Romare Bearden’s childhood memories, however, were centered on his great-grandparents comfortable, multi-generational home in Charlotte. During summers Romare would visit his grandmother Cattie Bearden in Greensboro who would take young Romare and his cousin Mabel to Charlotte to visit her parents Henry and Rosa Kennedy bringing him joy and affirming his grounding in southern ritual and tradition. Romare’s years in Pittsburg were grim and filled with sadness at feeling exiled while his mother pursued a successful career in New York. Romare returned to New York to attend grades five through ten and then went back to Pittsburg for the last two years of high school. [11]

Bearden’s college years in Boston and New York separated him from his beloved family in Mecklenburg County for 15 years. After two years at Boston University, Bearden transferred to New York University. There he studied math with the intention to fulfill his mother’s wish that he become a doctor. While in college Bearden started drawing for the college humor magazine, The Medley. These were Bearden’s first figurative works. Eventually, he became art editor. [12] Bearden’s friend, the well known black cartoonist E. Simms Campbell gave him encouragement and soon Bearden was contributing a weekly political cartoon to the nationally circulated publication Afro-American.[13] Campbell helped Bearden get some of his cartoons published in national magazines like Collier’s and Life. This began his interest in art. By the time Romare went back to Charlotte his beloved great-grandfather had died. This was the second major rupture in Romare Bearden’s life. [14]

A year after Bearden graduated from NYU with a degree in science he enrolled in the Art Students League. Here in 1936 he studied with the German expatriate artist George Grosz. Grosz was instrumental in helping Bearden to realize the possibilities of American Negro subject matter. [15] Bearden said it was Grosz who “led me to study composition through the analysis of Bruegel and the great Dutch masters, and who in the process of refining my draftsmanship initiated me into the magic world of Ingres, Durer, Holbein, and Poussin.”[16]A year and a half at the Arts Students League was Bearden’s only formal training in art.

As early as 1935, Bearden had joined a community of other black artists that became the Harlem Artists Guild, later known as “306”, the groups’ address on 141st Street. While many artists of the 306 found work as painters and muralists with the WPA during the Great Depression, Bearden’s family’s income was too high for him to qualify. Instead, in 1938, while still living with his parents on 131st Street in New York, Bearden took a job with the New York City Department of welfare as a caseworker.[17] Romare held this position for thirty years, while working on his art nights and weekends. His reputation as an artist grew steadily as Bearden’s work became popular through exhibitions at important New York Galleries and associations with key promoters of African American artists such as Samuel Kootz and Careese Crosby.

Racial Consciousness and Aesthetic Value

I am trying to explore, in terms of the particulars of the life I know best, those things common to all cultures. Art celebrates a victory. – Romare Bearden[18]

Bearden struggled with issues of identity as an individual, in the community of black artists and as an artist as he searched for his own personal aesthetic and working method. Artists of 1920’s Harlem emulated “The New Negro” aesthetic of writer Alain Locke who praised the authenticity of African art for its historical significance and rigorous craft. Locke claimed that black artists who appropriated African-derived abstractions would allow black art to become part of mainstream modernism and thus revalued for its cultural contributions against perceived stereotypes of black art. Later, Locke supported the self-conscious use of African American folk traditions as a method for black artists to reinterpret the past in order to revalue contemporary racial identity. Consequently, in the 1930’s and 1940’s artists such as William H. Johnson and Jacob Lawrence looked not back to Africa but to the more immediate past of Southern black remembered rituals of work, religion, music and storytelling. This tradition more aptly confronted stereotypes of African American artistic identity.[19] Though Bearden valued the communal spirit in Harlem as a vital creative force, he distanced himself from the artists of the period feeling their work was derivative and that their patronage of white collectors encouraged paternalistic motivations.[20]

In his work for the Welfare department, Bearden was assigned to keep track of the city’s gypsy populations. He described the migratory gypsies as a culture within a culture, with a strong sense of identity. Yet, over the fourteen years he worked with the gypsies he witnessed their culture disintegrate. This helped strengthen Bearden’s feeling that separatism within a culture is very self-defeating. Bearden preferred to make art out of the totality of being an American.[21] Bearden was clear and adamant about his artistic goals stating “It is not my aim to paint about the Negro in America in terms of propaganda…My intention is to reveal through pictorial complexities the life I know.”[22]

In the early 1950’s the new movement in the New York art world was abstract expressionism. Bearden was sure this was not the way he wanted to paint. On the advice of friend Carl Holty, Bearden did pursue abstraction for a few years but he was not happy with working that way. He wanted more control of the structure of a composition. At the same time, Bearden had been trying his hand at songwriting. Bearden was advised by close friends that he was just not attuned to this and should focus to his work in painting. Bearden felt lost. One day he collapsed on the street and wound up in the hospital from a nervous breakdown. “You blew a fuse”, said his doctor. [23]This was the third major rupture for Bearden. Following a quick recovery, Bearden wrote Holty stating that he was going to do nothing but paint. “Creative work never leaves you with the kind of tension I had built up.”[24]

In 1954 Bearden married Nanette Rohan, having met her at a benefit dance for victims of a West Indies hurricane. The family of this quiet, smiling, lovely young lady was from St. Martin in the Caribbean. With Nanette’s encouragement they moved to a combination studio apartment at 357 Canal Street.[25] From this studio Bearden continued his work achieving rapture in the world of modern art.

Figures in Bearden

Bearden’s knowledge of art was steeped in historic traditions. He was unique among artist of the 20th century in that he drew upon of such a multitude of artistic styles, cultures, and traditions including African masks, Chinese landscapes, Persian miniatures, and Renaissance and Dutch masters. Bearden’s figurative paintings of the 1930’s-1940’s were painted in a social realist style, inspired by the works of the Mexican muralists and painted in tempera or gauche on brown paper. Impressionists and Post Impressionists such as Matisse, Cezanne and Picasso were a primary influence on the development of Bearden’s collage technique and his approach to figurative subjects. [26]

Bearden continually drew upon recollections of his childhood growing up in the South, and translated his life experiences into abstract figurative works. Themes involving the human figure reverberate throughout his prolific works, but it was ”the beauty of a black woman” that became one of Bearden’s abiding motifs. [27] Bearden’s approach to the figure was unique as he often depicted different modes of painting and different art histories together in one work. Bearden had an obvious knowledge of the academic tradition of the nude in art history. His admiration for artist Henri Matisse can be seen in how Bearden shapes and positions many of his figures using spare forms. Yet, elements of popular culture are entered into Bearden’s figures as well in his use of imagery from erotic magazines. [28]

The Story of Ida

Romare Bearden recalled that one evening in 1940, as he struggled with inspiration for a subject, he heard the sound of keys jangling out in the street. There, was a prostitute, very homely and short in stature. She called to Romare and his friend Claude in a pathetic attempt to solicit their business. Bearden conveyed the story to his mother, Bessye, who got a job for the woman helping her to get off the street. Her name was Ida. Every Saturday Ida came to clean Bearden’s studio. In the studio was Bearden’s easel with a piece of brown paper on it. After several weeks, Ida asked Bearden if that was the same piece of paper. Bearden acknowledged that it was the indeed same piece of paper. He had not worked on it yet because he didn’t have his ideas together. Ida said, “Why don’t you paint me?” She noticed Bearden’s reaction. “I know what I look like,” she said. “But when you look and can find what’s beautiful in me, then you’re going to be able to do something on that paper of yours.” [29] This proved to be an important lesson for Bearden. It taught him how to find subject matter that was real to him.[30] Refer to Bearden’s Profile Part II, The Thirties: Artist with Painting and Model, 1981.

Class Activities

The school board’s decision of November 2010 set into motion changes in the demographics of our student population that were rapid and dramatic. This presented our students with obvious challenges in making new friends and establishing a sense of belonging to a new school community. In an increasingly globalized society, ruptures of this type can be expected to recur throughout their lives. The class activities in this unit offer a collage of learning experiences designed to support students’ self-value as unique creative individuals who, because of who they and where they have come from, contribute uniquely and positively to growing the culture of the school.


Where I’m from- mapping identity

Students will read the poem by George Ella Lyons, Where I’m from. Allow the poem to lead students to their own writing in response to the prompt, “Where are you from?” Students may work alone or in groups to identify the elements that Lyons uses to trigger visual recall. These include place and the look of places, parents’ work, tools used in work, children helping with work, dialog remembered or a quote someone said, what you wanted to say back but never did, food or people gathered to share food, ritual or religious ceremonies, ways of play, music, where music was playing, the interleave of a song and words you said, a narrative of what you were thinking and feeling at the time the song was important to you, a significant object-describe how it felt, sounded, smelled, looked, and tasted like, where it came from, what happened to it, a memory of your connection with it, a secret or a longing connected with this object, the message of the object, when this object was important to you.[31]

Encourage students to write in longhand, without the use of computers, filling an entire page from top to bottom with the gesture of a stream of conscious flow of ideas. This format for writing stimulates the visualization of ideas as students write long enough that the work of their hand works in unison with their mind. After writing long enough ask students to sketch images that convey what pictures or memories came to mind during their writing. The association of words with visual symbols is an effective way for students to begin the creative process, trusting the words to find a visual form. Remind students that each of them is his or her own expert. No one else sees the world as they do; no one else has their material to draw on. They don’t have to know where to begin. Just start. Let it flow. Students may then construct their own poem based on their writings. Students will utilize technology at www.wordle.net to make a “Wordle” -a ‘word cloud’ graphic-based on key words in their writings.

Discuss maps and mapping. Every map is a cultural construction that geographers, scientists and artists create to convey meaning. Historically, maps were once rare and precious symbols for power, or sovereignty over territory. Often they were vital, often state-owned documents considered key to war and exploration. Artists use maps for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways. When Jan Vermeer included a map in his painting ‘The Artist’s Studio’ of 1665-7 he was referring to the political situation of the 17 provinces of the Low Countries before their partition in 1581.[32] Today you can locate any address you like on Google Earth, and be continuously guided there by GPS. The globalization of the world has undermined traditional borders, as people continue to travel and communicate across the globe.

For contemporary artists, use of maps in their art can represent a journey that confronts traditional thinking about place and time. Maps help us in ways of finding ourselves; not just physically, but psychologically in locating our place in the world. Compare the process of cartography and map making to the conceptual notion of mind mapping. Prepare a presentation showing examples of how artists use maps in their work today. For some artists, mapping is a kind of road trip or record, while for others it is a way to revisit past events, critique the status quo, or project future developments. A map can also become a form of symbolic portraiture. Maps seem to organize and control the seeming chaos and complexity of our lived experience. Just as our understanding of the world is in flux, so are our maps. Yet, rather than just as a reference for points of departure and arrival their goal is often to describe what you encounter along the way as they explore layers of meaning. The annotated resources for this unit offer several good sources for information on the use of maps and cartography by contemporary artists. Refer to the following as examples of works by Romare Bearden that represent his response to the different places he has lived: Watching the Trains Go By 1964, Pittsburg Memories 1984, Profile/Part II, The Thirties: Uptown Saturday Night 1981, The Block II 1972.

Who I am-assessing self value

Value systems based on a recognized purpose and a vision for the future open students’ minds to creative and hopeful thinking. (10 ways 18) Ruptures in students’ lives can adversely impact their motivations, their skills in dealing with people and their hope in opportunities. This class activity aims to help students become more aware of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (fears). It is called a S.W.O.T. activity. As one moves through this self-analysis, hidden treasures are often revealed that identify values.

Students will build lists as follows.

S. Strengths-list everything that makes you strong (personal skills, unique qualities, talents, achievements) Consider “I am…” statements.

W. Weaknesses- list things you want to overcome (avoiding challenges, questioning authority, anger, resentment, envy, procrastination)

O. Opportunities- list things you want to achieve or be recognized for (honor roll, a sport or talent recognition, a scholarship, your own business)

T. Threats-list things you are fearful of or cause you to doubt yourself (loss of income or home life, injury or illness, grudges, failing grades)

Students will journal action steps: for each challenge, write down a corresponding strength. Write down several values that will help you make a decision. Refer to your opportunity section for possible solutions. Decide on small action steps. Record your progress.

Foster hope and courage in the classroom. Talk with students about values. Assign tasks that will allow them to use their SWOT as a tool to solve the problem presented. Follow up with students; find out what they value. Teach them to cherish the gifts and talents that they have been given. [33]

What is a Ritual? – identity through community

Rituals can be strong contributors to identity for individuals, families and communities. Rituals can be grounded in practices such as religion, leisure activities, holidays, and family functions. Rituals support all types of identity and behavior in society, both positive and negative. In this class activity, the teacher leads students through a series of questions to define the concept of ritual and determine those rituals important to our identity as a school community.

In a concept attainment strategy the teacher poses a question to the students such as, what is a ritual? As students consider the concept and relate it to their experience they begin to contribute their individual responses. As the discussion develops, the teacher interjects a response that directs the discussion toward more controversy such as “I don’t see that as a ritual.” The students then are allowed in turn to express their individual support for or rejection of solutions proposed. The goal is to arrive at a working definition for the concept. This strategy, however, allows each student to arrive at his or her individual attainment of the concept after having considered and rejected a wide variety of individual responses. As a result, the student is better able to form his or her own verbal and visual responses for the application of the concept. Refer to the following as examples of works by Romare Bearden that are based on African American Southern rituals and traditions: Gospel Morning 1987, Evening Church 1985, Of the Blues: Charlotte Shout 1974, and Soul Three 1968.

Mapping Identity, Composite Map

In this class activity, students will utilize physical maps and their reflections generated from their writing to create an original mixed media composite map expressive of where they are from, and the traditions that they or their families have brought with them. One of the materials students will utilize is a folded road map of Charlotte. Students will analyze how to read maps and identify where they live now and the journey they make every day between home and school. Students will also use Google maps exploring satellite views of where they are from. Working on the surface of the road map, students will create a composite image representing the map of their life. In collage-like fashion, students enhance their compositions through the addition of images such as photo transfers and drawings and the addition of materials like paint, gesso and markers or stitching. Students may invent personal symbols to place throughout the map identifying the places in their local community that have become important to their identity. The students should work toward a composition approximately 18”x24”. The composite piece may then be utilized in the student’s original 2D or 3D design such as a handmade book, low relief sculpture or as the substrate for additional drawing, painting or monoprint techniques.

Working with Figures

Figures in Bearden“a chain of tradition deformatively African American and masterfully art historical.”[34]

The following are suggestions of works to use as talking points to compare and contrast using whole group or small group discussions or written assignments that effectively utilize the art elements and principles as the vocabulary of design.

Artist, title, year Artist, title, year Topics for discussion
Romare Bearden, Family, 1986 Sandro Botticelli, The Adoration of the Magi, early 1470’s What similarities can you find in the staging of the figures? The setting? The colors used?
Romare Bearden, Mecklenburg County, Lamp at Midnight, circa 1979 Jan van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait, 1434 How are the qualities of the relationship between the man and woman expressed in each of these works?What does the setting convey about their life together? What symbolism can you associate with the various objects within the image?
Romare Bearden, Conjur Woman, 1975,collage of various papers with paint, ink and surface abrasion on wood Romare Bearden, Obeah, 1984, watercolor and gouache on paper What are the similarities and differences in the treatment of this female figure? Write a paragraph expressive of your feelings and emotions about each of these figures.
Romare Bearden, The Visitation, 1941 Rogier van der Weyden, The Visitation of Mary, 1435 In what specific ways has Bearden expressed the South in his interpretation of this subject?
Romare Bearden, Cotton Workers, 1936-44 Diego Rivera, The Flower Carrier, 1935 In what ways do these works reflect similarities in style, theme and mood?

Figure Drawing

Drawing the human figure can easily be considered one of an artist’s greatest challenges. Though the figure can be complex, it is also loaded with psychological implications and the way it is observed and interpreted will depend on the artist’s response to it. By looking at Romare Bearden’s varied approaches to figures, students can appreciate the expressive potential of the figure. Bearden’s work can inspire students to find their own comfort level in ways to depict the figure.

Students will begin by looking at the tradition of figures in art over time and culture by exposure to the historical cannons for depicting human proportion. Through comparisons of figurative images from ancient Egypt to classical Greek students will form concepts they can use in observed proportional drawings in the classroom. Have students model standing poses seen in images gradually altering the stance from full weight on two feet to that of shifted body weight referred to as contrapposto. Use the four-step art criticism process to examine artistic style by comparing two very different standing figurative works, such as Michelangelo’s David to a nude by Giacometti.

The ideal figure is based on the head as a unit of measure. The proportions of the adult human figure can best be understood as a ‘formula’ and then modified based on observation and practice. Using a ‘formula’ of eight heads for an ideal adult male the figure can be easily gauged through the use of ‘placing marks’. Draw the head shape and replicate it seven more times aligned on a vertical. The torso is then equal to ‘two heads’ high, the hips one head, two head heights for the space from hips to knees and two head heights between knees and feet. A demonstration of the use of ‘placing marks’ to draw the figure can be seen in the You-tube video, referenced in the list of resources. Students then can draw clothed or costumed figures standing, sitting, dancing and moving to jazz. Compare Romare Bearden’s images Of the Blues: Carolina Morning, 1974 and Of the Blues: Wrapping it up at the Lafayette, 1974 for differences and similarities in his depictions of dancing figures in a rural setting and dancing figures at a night club in Harlem.

Gestural line sketching is essential to figure drawing. Gesture sketching is active thinking and most artists plan their work with gestural marks. Romare Bearden began drawing figures for humorous cartoons for magazines. He used an active line in his sketches of the human figure. Of his early studies in drawing the figure Bearden said “Unlike the other students who usually were very tight I would draw all over the paper.” [35]Gesture sketching is essential, not just because it is taught as a first step in drawing, but because it is central to the art making process. Romare Bearden’s use of pen and ink to make rhythmic gestural lines can be seen in his Iliad series of 1948, in (Untitled) Three Figures 1947, in An Obeah Priestess; Her Loa Leaves at Dawn 1986, and also in The Obeah’s Choice, 1984.

Direct students to do a series of two-minute timed gestural drawings of a variety of poses using rotating student models, singly and then in groups of two to three. Students should be in a position for drawing that allows their arm to move freely from the shoulder. Position the pencil in the hand so as to act as an extension of the arm. Use paper as large as possible to allow for kinesthetic movement. Do gestural figure drawings of students dancing to jazz instrumental music selections. Music culture was a critical aspect of Bearden’s work in New York.[36] Bearden’s most constant topic about jazz was his love of the interval, the places of silence between notes. The piano music of Earl Hines provided Bearden a basis of inspiration for placing intervals in his own work which helped Bearden to define his mature compositional style.[37] Refer to Bearden’s Of the Blues: At the Savoy, 1974. The sounds and movements generated by musicians, singers and dancers can almost be heard while looking at this work.[38]

Ruptured Figure Painting-ink and watercolor

In this class activity, students will begin with drawing a series of observed figures drawing each in contour line filling a drawing space of approximately 18”x24”. Use classmates as rotating models. Select the most effective drawing then rupture the space of the drawing with a pattern of interlocking angular or curvilinear lines representative of the cartographic lines in the map of where they are from. These lines will cut across the drawn figure breaking up the space as if broken glass.

Develop the contour lines with bold ink and render the spaces with transparent watercolor washes. Apply watercolor by mixing colors, changing the value and density as you work within the image. Refer to Romare Bearden’s bold line works in oil and watercolor such as Madonna and Child 1945, The Passion of Christ series 1945. In these works Bearden employed bold black lines throughout his pictorial field forcing enclosed segments that he developed in a high-keyed palette. This style in Bearden’s work emulated that of the twentieth century Frenchman Georges Rouault whose works were strongly religious in theme. As a result, Bearden was referred to as “the Negro Rouault.” [39]Later, students may consider developing additional imagery within the prism-like spaces through drawing, collage, or incorporating text through poetry or narrative elements written by hand.

Art through Art- figurative collagraph

The 1951 book by Andre Malraux titled Les Voix du Silence (The Voice of Silence) was a favorite of Romare Bearden. Malraux spoke of the notion that art produces art through processes of repetition and transformation. Malraux relates his idea to the invention of photography and the consequent proliferation of visual reproductions of master works of art creating a virtual “museum without walls”. In this “museum” the varied works of historical art were all translated to color plates. Though the viewer in this “museum” was not able to truly appreciate a work’s size, scale, texture or true nature, it was possible to freely discover formal and psychological qualities across historical and cultural boundaries. The artist became free to study, reproduce and reinterpret a work of art. In essence the artist was free to rewrite the art historical cannon while opening up for viewers a new way to engage with art that was more common to all mankind.[40]

Romare Bearden followed this philosophy in his use of copying as a progressive movement toward an original. Bearden’s Projections series of 1964 utilized this approach and forever impacted his subsequent work. Using fragments of art historical reproductions and images from current magazines of the time, Bearden created unified compositions that reworked the spaces and structures of prior paintings. As Bearden employed this technique to convey narratives of black life he was acknowledging a historical past but creating a voice and artistic identity for African Americans.

In this class activity, students will work from photocopy enlargements of details of Romare Bearden’s figurative works to create a design for a collagraph print. Through the use of a simple adjustable paper-strip viewfinder students will select an area of a copy of a Bearden work that reveals figurative elements and interesting relationships with surrounding shapes. Students will then use this abstracted design as inspiration for the building up of a collagraph plate for use in printmaking. Using cut cardboard shapes and various textured materials, plan the collagraph relief surface so that it will best imitate the Bearden original. The built plate will then be coated and sealed with synthetic polymer coating. Print the plate using ink on paper; experiment with inking techniques and ghost prints as well. Refer to Romare Bearden’s collagraph print Prelude to Troy, c.1969. In this work Bearden is, himself, basing his design on a copy of a 1528 painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder titled The Last Judgment of Paris.

Grandmother, Icon of Memory-Collage

Mother and Child Themes in Art

Sometimes I remember my grandfather’s house

A garden with tiger lilies, my grandmother

Waving a white apron to passing trains

On that trestle across the clay road [41]

– from a poem by Romare Bearden

The International Baccalaureate Program places a heavy emphasis on the consideration of global and world views as a basis of students’ investigations and understandings. As a class activity capable of addressing the four criterion based assessments of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IBMYP), students will find several art historical examples of strong or important female figures from at least five different cultures. Students will document their research on this theme, then plan and create an original work in collage expressive of their understandings and personally expressive of the theme. A critical component of the IBMYP curriculum is an emphasis on the student’s own documentation of their artistic and investigative processes through written reflection and response to peer and teacher feedback. Student research into a topic theme begins with an art historical point of reference. Students will view and discuss various figures of women as a recurring motif in the art of Romare Bearden such as: Mother and Child 1971, Sunset and Moonrise with Maudell Sleet 1978, Profile/Part I, The Twenties: Mecklenburg County, and Early Carolina Morning 1978.

Terms for students to know and understand: What does the word “maternal” refer to? What is a “matriarch”? What is Western Art? What is Non-Western Art? How is the importance of the figure conveyed? How is the theme of “mother and child” depicted in art across time and culture? Find examples of this theme depicted in both Western and Non-Western art. Understand how the arts play a role in developing and expressing personal and cultural identities.

Students will generate ideas, reflect and write about connections within their personal family history by considering the role of their grandmother as an icon of importance in their family. Aside from your mother, who is the most important female role model in your family? Think about her character. What do you admire about her? What are her strengths? How has she been important in the history of your family? Recall at least one significant memory you have of her in your life. How do you want to remember her? What will you make sure that your own children know about her? Contextually, since the days of African enslavement that ripped apart the black family, women of African descent have been the primary caretakers of both the family and the community. Consequently, African descended women hold important roles of leadership and authority in Southern communities. These roles can include mother, grandmother, sister, wife, midwife, healer, herbalist, cook, seamstress and protector. [42]

Students will sketch several ideas for the development of a collage expressive of their relationship with their grandmother. Historical photographs of this person from her life may be used as source images. As required by IBMYP, the students’ planning sketches must record the beginning ideas and the changes in those ideas as the composition develops while recording experiments with materials. The students pictorially document the development of the collage at different stages of its progress, noting decisions made and responding to feedback from teacher and peers. At the conclusion of the project student write a reflection about the final product.

Large Scale Self Portrait: Full Body Project

Create a large scale work of art related to your interpretation of your self and what you want to convey about your identity. This is a self-portrait project, but not just a head and shoulders type of work. Who are you? What do you look like? Where are you from? What is it important for you to express to others? What surroundings and environment do you feel most comfortable in or least comfortable in? How do your surroundings effect how you look and feel?

Look at large scale figurative works of Romare Bearden such as Folk Musicians1942, Presage 1944, Three Folk Musicians 1967, Melon Season 1967, and She-Ba 1970. Compare these works to large scale figurative works by artists of different cultures such as husband and wife Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo as well as the art by contemporary artists such as Kehinde Wiley. Consider the qualities in these works that speak to cultural or personal identity.


Work toward a minimum of 20×30 inches in mixed media.

Work must show your portrait in full figure with an interesting or significant background. You may use reference photos, photo transfer, or creatively use photocopies. Tip: photo images, manipulated on the photo copier to be dramatically large or small, may be collaged onto a surface using acrylic polymer medium and then painted or drawn on. Romare Bearden would often further abrade his collaged surfaces creating interesting visual effects.

You should be the main subject in large detail. You should take up ¾ of the compositional space

Work must use realism as the majority style of expression with attention paid to details such as proportion, perspective, texture, pattern and value. You may incorporate surreal qualities into the design

Work can be all black and white or color or a combination

Work can include text provided that the lettering is designed into the piece and treated as a design element not just text

Work should incorporate a strong sense of composition and design

Work should be able to be displayed in our classroom and school display spaces

Work needs to meet deadline

Sketchbook Requirements:

Brainstorm your idea starting with a list of qualities that define you and your interests. This written brainstorm should fill a full page.

Do at least 10 small quick thumbnails planning your project and have them initialed and date-marked by your teacher before beginning the assignment.

Show pages in your sketchbook where you experimented with the media you plan to use in your project

Complete the in class figure drawing practice exercises

Do sketches/studies of your body, face and the background you intend to use in your work

Write an artist statement explaining the criteria and concept you set up for yourself

‘Figure I’ll Stay- celebrating community identity around the “Tree of Hope”

Lived spaces become places of significance when beliefs and practices create a sense of community, ritual, memory, and home. Feelings of belonging and being safe are essential to quality of life for all people, yet profoundly important to an urban community of students whose lives have been ruptured by displacement.

The 28th day of October in 2010 is remembered at Harding University High School in Charlotte by another significant event that occurred later that morning. A group of about 25 students gathered, hands clasped, in a peaceful circle of unity around the base of the large shade tree central to the quad, affectionately referred to as “the acorn tree”. In a secret frenzy of social networking activity among the students that morning the call had gone out to meet in the quad at the beginning of the lunch periods to demonstrate solidarity in opposition to the school board’s decision to close their school. Within an hour, virtually every student in the school had joined the circle, growing it so large that it was transitioned to the sidewalk forming a mile-long formation along the street. In Bearden’s Harlem there was also a tree, the “Tree of Hope”. Standing outside the Lafayette Theatre, near Bearden’s apartment the Tree of Hope was were all the performers gathered in the evening. Entertainers who were out of work would touch the tree for good luck. [43]

The goal of this class activity is to visually express a sense of celebration of the shared destinies of lives and cultures blended in daily academic routines and everyday high school activities at our school community. Students will view Bearden’s works Berkeley, 1973 and The Block 1969. Students will work collaboratively in small groups to conceive of pictorial elements of the spaces lived at school and the daily academic and social interactions of daily lives at school. Students will work together in small and large groups to contribute to a large scale composition, similar to Bearden’s The Block that expresses the daily lives of our diverse students in a myriad of activities on a school’s campus depicted in vignettes. A vantage point similar to Bearden’s will allow multiple points of entry letting the viewer see indoor and outdoor scenes simultaneously, a unique view of a day at school. Select students should be assigned to take reference photographs of the school’s buildings and grounds. Include an iconic structure or landmark at the school to serve as a symbol of the school as a place lived. For example, the iconographic component of the design representative of our school will be the beloved “acorn tree”, our ‘Tree of Hope’. The goal is a collaborative design and shared production of a mural-like composition on a 4’x8’ Masonite panel. Students will utilize photocopies, photo transfer and collage, with painted and drawn elements. The finished panel will be installed within the school.


Collage, figure/figurative, gestural line, contour line, canons of art history, rupture, identity, transformative, South, social work, social realism, Cubism, jazz music, blues music, trains, Caribbean, color, ground, rural, county, Graham Street, Mecklenburg, migration, renaissance, Harlem, prints, paints, papers, photo transfer, collaborative, community, urban, collage, collagraph, abrade, visual rhythm, composition, Western art, Non-Western art, primary visual sources, secondary visual sources, matriarch, maternal, conjure, Obeah, jagging, popular culture, genre, ritual, negritude, reinterpret, cartography, recollection, recall


Implementing District Standards

The North Carolina State Standards for Arts Education addressed in this unit are drawn from those defined in the Standard Course of Study for Art II. Learning activities should be presented in a problem solving manner, building on the student’s foundation of knowledge and technical skills developed in Art I, yet allowing for independent choices and personal solutions to problems. Through research of art and artists presented in this unit students should gain a deeper understanding of past and present art forms. That students are familiar with the workings of the world of art and artists is important in growing their understandings of art as valued in their own lives and in encouraging them to be lifelong supporters of the arts. The following learning goals are addressed in this unit in a significant way.

COMPETENCY GOAL 3: The learner will organize the components of a work into a cohesive whole through knowledge of organizational principles of design and art elements. (National Standard 2)


3.03 Demonstrate the value of intuitive perceptions in the problem-solving process.

3.04 Demonstrate the value of experimentation in the problem-solving process.

COMPETENCY GOAL 4: The learner will choose and evaluate a range of subject matter and ideas to communicate intended meaning in artworks. (National Standard 3)


4.01 Use life surroundings and personal experiences to visually express ideas and feelings.

4.03 Invent original and personal imagery to convey meaning and not rely on copying, tracing, patterns or duplicated materials.

4.04 Research and demonstrate how artists develop personal imagery and style.

4.05 Apply subjects, symbols, and ideas in artworks and use the skills gained to solve problems in daily life.

COMPETENCY GOAL 5: The learner will understand the visual arts in relation to history and cultures. (National Standard 4)


5.01 Know that the visual arts have a history, purpose and function in all cultures.

5.02 Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times and places.

5.03 Compare relationships of works of art to one another in terms of history, aesthetics, and cultural/ethnic groups.

Annotated List of Resources for Teachers

Fine, Ruth. The Art of Romare Bearden, Washington, D.C.: The National Gallery of Art, 2003. This gorgeous book was published on the occasion of a major retrospective exhibition of Bearden’s work at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. This book is an indispensable resource on Bearden.

Glazer, Lee Stephens. Signifying Identity: Art and Race in Romare Bearden’s Projections. The Art Bulletin, Vol.76, No. 3 (Sept., 1994), pp. 411-426. This article provides an in depth understanding of some of the philosophical and sociocultural underpinnings in the work of Romare Bearden especially relating to the Projections series. Surprisingly enjoyable reading.

Hanzal, ed. Romare Bearden, Southern Recollections. Charlotte: The Mint Museum of Art, 2011. This is the catalog of the exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Romare Bearden in Charlotte, NC. The book contains a concise historical and family background, with beautiful color plates of Bearden’s works inspired by Southern traditions and rituals with very insightful discourse. A treasure!

Harmon, Katharine. The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography.
Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 2009. Harmon focuses on international artists coming to terms with this era of dislocation.

Osula, Bramwell and Renae Ideboen, 10 Winning Strategies for leaders in the Classroom, a Transformational Approach. New Delhi: SAGE Publications, 2010. Written for teacher leadership and professional growth; I found in this book key concepts and strategies for building trust and courage in the classroom. Especially helpful was the discussion on grudges and how to nurture a grudge free classroom.

Schwartzman, Myron. Romare Bearden, Celebrating the Victory. New York: Grolier Publishing, 1999. This very easy to read book is a concise history on the life and art of Romare Bearden. Schwartzman was a personal friend of Bearden’s and the conversational tone is evident in the text. Color plates and several Bearden drawings are included.

Tomkins, Calvin. Profiles: Romare Bearden. The New Yorker, (Nov. 28, 1977) This article was written from a personal interview with Bearden. The read is very refreshing because it really is Bearden speaking in an autobiographical format.

Annotated List of Readings for Students

Rose, Ted and Sallye Mahan-Cox. Discovering Drawing. Worcester: Davis Publications, 2007. This book is published as a classroom text providing a wonderful chapter on working with figures. Historical and student works represent traditional as well as innovative approaches.

Toale, Bernard. Basic Printmaking Techniques. Worcester: Davis Publications, 1992. This book is published as a classroom text providing step by step instruction in methods of relief, monotype and silkscreen printmaking processes. Students will find this book helpful for examples of collagraph prints. Illustrations include example works by students and professionals, a color gallery and images of artists working in collaborations on large prints. A glossary provides helpful clarification of terms for students.

The Visual Experience. Worcester: Davis Publications, 2005. This book is published as a classroom text on art, art process and appreciation. The four step art criticism process is explained with clear examples.


The Romare Bearden Foundation website


Fantastic interactive website, great for theme related activities or image search.

The Mint Museum of Art, Chalotte, NC

http://www.mintmuseum.org/ accessed 11/28/11

Site of the 2011 Southern Recollections exhibition of the work of Romare Bearden. The Mint has a permanent collection of significant Bearden works.

George Ella Lyon

Where I’m From

http://www.georgeellalyon.com/where.html accessed 10/31/2011

This website offers suggestions on how to allow the poem to lead students into their own writing. The class activity in this unit follows a similar stimulus in support of student literacy.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Block 1971, is in their permanent collection at the Met.

The Virtual Diego Rivera Web Museum

http://www.diegorivera.com/ accessed 11/26/2011

The National Gallery, London


The Arnolfini Portriat by Jan van Eyck is in this collection.

Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna


Jan Vermeer’s painting of The Artist in his Studio, 1528 is in their permanent collection

The Levine Museum of the New South


The use of overlay maps such as the Sanborn Maps of Charlotte, NC

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago


Mapping the Self an exhibition that investigated how artists use geographic or conceptual space for personal exploration, artistic expression, communication, and social change.

Nikki Rosato


Rosato is a contemporary artist who uses maps in her work.

Chris Kenney is a British artist who began his career as a painter but today focuses mostly on collage and other constructions, which he calls “three-dimensional drawing.” http://www.dwell.com/articles/the-map-as-art.html#ixzz1eFoUBMPv

Katona Museum of Art, Katona, New York


Mapping, Memory and Motion exhibition October 3, 2010 – January 9, 2011. Great teacher resourses.

Mark Bradford


In his 2005 work Black Venus, Bradford created a map of Baldwin Hills, a wealthy, black Los Angeles neighborhood. Baldwin looked up addresses in Google Maps and used pieces of paper to mark houses and roads over a map of the area.

Invisible Man Liu Bolin born 1973 in Shandong, China


Liu Bolin, also known as ‘China’s Invisible Man,’ who specializes in camouflage body-paintings. The seamless blending-in with his environment is the result of hours of painstaking work. Click through to see a few of his opuses. Accessed 11/15/2011

Leilani Joy


Figure Drawing and Gesture Demo accessed 11/25/11


[1] Carla Hanzal, Romare Bearden, Southern Recollections. Charlotte: The Mint Museum of Art, 2011, 21

[2] Glenda Gilmore, Romare Bearden, Southern Recollections. Charlotte: The Mint Museum of Art, 2011, 39

[3] Ibid, 47

[4] Ibid, 50

[5] Calvin Tomkins. Profiles: Romare Bearden. The New Yorker, (Nov. 28, 1977)

[6] Glenda Gilmore, Romare Bearden, Southern Recollections. Charlotte: The Mint Museum of Art, 2011, 62

[7] Lee Stephens Glazer. Signifying Identity: Art and Race in Romare Bearden’s Projections. The Art Bulletin, Vol.76, No. 3 (Sept., 1994), 413

[8] Glenda Gilmore, Romare Bearden, Southern Recollections. Charlotte: The Mint Museum of Art, 2011, 52

[9] Ibid, 41

[10] Calvin Tomkins. Profiles: Romare Bearden. The New Yorker, (Nov. 28, 1977)

[11] Glenda Gilmore, Romare Bearden, Southern Recollections. Charlotte: The Mint Museum of Art, 2011, 50

[12] Myron Schwartzman. Romare Bearden, Celebrating the Victory. New York: Grolier Publishing, 1999, 46

[13] Calvin Tomkins. Profiles: Romare Bearden. The New Yorker, (Nov. 28, 1977)

[14] Glenda Gilmore, Romare Bearden, Southern Recollections. Charlotte: The Mint Museum of Art, 2011, 56

[15] Bearden quoted in Calvin Tomkins. Profiles: Romare Bearden. The New Yorker, (Nov. 28, 1977)

[16] Ibid

[17] Calvin Tomkins. Profiles: Romare Bearden. The New Yorker, (Nov. 28, 1977)

[18] Myron Schwartzman. Romare Bearden, Celebrating the Victory. New York: Grolier Publishing, 1999,88

[19] Lee Stephens Glazer. Signifying Identity: Art and Race in Romare Bearden’s Projections. The Art Bulletin, Vol.76, No. 3 (Sept., 1994), 411

[20] Ibid, 412

[21] Calvin Tomkins. Profiles: Romare Bearden. The New Yorker, (Nov. 28, 1977)

[22] Leslie King-Hammond , Romare Bearden, Southern Recollections. Charlotte: The Mint Museum of Art, 2011, 88

[23] Myron Schwartzman, Romare Bearden, Celebrating the Victory. New York: Grolier Publishing, 1999, 73

[24] Ibid, 74

[25] Ibid, 74

[26] Ibid, 86

[27] Ruth Fine. The Art of Romare Bearden, Washington, D.C.: The National Gallery of Art,200391

[28] Ibid, 97

[29] Quoted in Myron Schwartzman. Romare Bearden, Celebrating the Victory. New York: Grolier Publishing, 1999, 52

[30] Ibid

[32] Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna, http://www.khm.at/en/collections/

[33] Bramwell Osula and Renae Ideboen, 10 Winning Strategies for leaders in the Classroom, a Transformational Approach. New Delhi: SAGE Publications, 2010,19-28

[34] Lee Stephens Glazer. Signifying Identity: Art and Race in Romare Bearden’s Projections. The Art Bulletin, Vol.76, No. 3 (Sept., 1994), 413

[35] Myron Schwartzman. Romare Bearden, Celebrating the Victory. New York: Grolier Publishing, 1999,47

[36] Ruth Fine. The Art of Romare Bearden, Washington, D.C.: The National Gallery of Art,2003,75

[37] Ibid, 80

[38] Ibid, 75

[39] Ibid, 17

[40] Ibid, 141

[41] Carla Hanzal, Romare Bearden, Southern Recollections. Charlotte: The Mint Museum of Art, 2011,13

[42] Leslie King-Hammond, Romare Bearden, Southern Recollections. Charlotte: The Mint Museum of Art, 2011, 91

[43] Myron Schwartzman. Romare Bearden, Celebrating the Victory. New York: Grolier Publishing, 1999,47