|Acquisition Number: 2007.9
Medium: Watercolor on paper
Size: 14" x 19 1/2"
Date: c. 1985
Credit: Purchased by the Canton Museum of Art with funds
from the Margretta Bockius Wilson Fund
Bearden was born in Charlotte, North Carolina into a nurturing family environment. His family settled in Harlem and his mother opened her home to community leaders and creative people during the exhilarating years of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. Consequently, Bearden became acquainted with many important African American artists of this time. After receiving a B.S. in math, Bearden studied at the Art Students League in New York in the 30s.
Working in a Modernist Style, Romare Bearden, as an African American, tried to express in his work the complexities and uniqueness of being a minority in American society. Many of his themes dealt with music. Another strong presence in many of Bearden's works is trains. Bearden felt that there was a commonality, or link between trains and their symbolic tie to life; he saw trains as communicating life's fluctuations and constant change. He also saw this in jazz, so in many of his works the viewer will see images of both trains and jazz.