September 2, 2011, marked the centennial of the birth of Romare Bearden (1911–1988) and the beginning of a year-long celebration of this significant and singular artist. In tribute to Bearden, who was deeply involved with the founding of The Studio Museum in Harlem, and whose artwork is a cornerstone of our collection, the Studio Museum has initiated The Bearden Project.
The Bearden Project brings together work by 100 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. While their contributions are distinct and diverse, the artists in this exhibition are united in building a lasting tribute to Romare Bearden.
In the spirit of Bearden’s ongoing impact on the art world, The Bearden Project has grown throughout the year. The first exhibition of Bearden Project works took place during the Studio Museum’s Fall/Winter 2012 season, and a second selection was on view as part of the Spring 2012 exhibition Shift: Projects | Perspectives | Directions. The third and final group of works from the project will be on view at the Museum August 16 to October 21, 2012. The entire project can be seen on the frequently-updated exhibition site, thebeardenproject.studiomuseum.org.
The Bearden Project was organized by Assistant Curator Lauren Haynes. For more information about the Romare Bearden centennial celebration, please visit beardencentennial.org.