Romare Bearden

1911 (Charlotte, N.C.) – 1988 (New York)

Bearden’s role in the evolution and appreciation of African-American languages of visual representation is perhaps still underrated. Grosz, influentially, taught him. Lawrence (who helped him get his first studio) and Davis (a fellow jazz-lover) were significant close friends and colleagues. Ellington and Waller were family friends in Harlem, and among the first to buy his work. Arendt told him to focus more on painting, and Picasso to paint his own people. He took Miró to a baseball game, and shopped for food with Brancusi (who cooked it in his forge). He knew Holiday through her job as a receptionist near his studio.

Romare Bearden knew…