American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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A Romare Bearden Collage

Supply Object Title
Romare Bearden (1911-1988)
The Calabash, 1970
Collage, mixed media
Prints & Photographs Division
Gift of the Ben and Beatrice Goldstein Foundation (140.13)
[ Digital ID# ppmsca-05600 ]

One of the premier figures in American art, Romare Bearden embraced the collage technique. The layered, fragmented form allowed him to freely combine ideas, shapes, colors, and cultural references in a way that was both radically modern, and accessible. Bearden drew his subjects from a wide range of sources including his own photography, drawings, and paintings, as well as "found" images from books and magazines. His images were often concerned with his own personal experiences, as well as themes from history, literature, and art. Here, Bearden's imagery suggests multiple layers of narrative while putting his own unique spin on a well-loved theme of artists--a woman bathing.


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