This February, a unique American master returns to the spotlight as Macy’s celebrates Black History Month with special events and exhibits dedicated to famed artist Romare Bearden. In conjunction with the Romare Bearden Foundation, Macy’s honors the rich history and legacy of the incomparable artist, writer, and musician in celebration of this year’s 100th anniversary of his birth.
Romare Howard Bearden’s life was marked by the pursuit of art in all of its forms. A prolific creator, Bearden’s work encompassed art, music, design, history, and literature. During his lifetime (1911-1988), Bearden experimented with many different mediums and artistic styles, but is best known for his richly textured collages. However, his diverse interests included costume and set design for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Nanette Bearden’s Contemporary Dance Theatre, music composition and literary work such as his famed children’s book Li’l Dan,
The Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story.
“Macy’s is thrilled to partner with the Romare Bearden Foundation in celebration of the life and work of one of America’s preeminent artists,” said Dineen Garcia, Macy’s vice-president of Diversity Strategies. “Every year, as we honor the contributions of African-Americans with our Black History Month events, we hope to empower a new generation, through a look back at some of our nation’s most important leaders. Throughout his life, Romare Bearden brought his exceptional talents to a wide range of interests, cementing his unique place in history and blazing a trail for those who followed.”
“The Romare Bearden Foundation is pleased to partner with Macy’s on the occasion of the centennial celebration. This is a wonderful opportunity to promote to a wider audience the accomplishments of Bearden and his gifts to society,” said Co-Directors Johanne Bryant Reid and Diedra Harris Kelley. “Through our traveling shows, archives, and publications we aim to make Bearden’s artistic legacy accessible to all.”
To celebrate the artist’s centennial, Macy’s will spotlight Mr. Bearden’s work through special exhibitions featuring watercolors, prints, oil on paper and dramatic black and white photostats that date from 1964 to 1984, when Romare Bearden was at the peak of his artistic power. These satellite exhibits will showcase some rarely displayed works loaned by private collectors, in addition to works on loan from local galleries. Taking place at eleven Macy’s locations nationwide including stores in New Orleans, New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, San Francisco, Washington, DC and Miami, the exhibits will be supplemented by works from artists influenced and inspired by Bearden. Opening receptions will further highlight Bearden’s artistic endeavors including music, highlighted by performances from a new generation of jazz musicians playing his compositions, which have been previously recorded by masters including Branford Marsalis, Tito Puente and Billy Eckstine.
Additional in-store celebrations will include children’s collage making events, special readings of Bearden’s children’s book, Li’l Dan, The Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story, as well as cooking demonstrations from local chefs featuring Bearden’s favorite recipes and Caribbean dishes from the out of print cookbook, Ma Chance’s French Caribbean Creole Cooking, which he illustrated.
For a complete listing of Macy’s Black History Month events, please visit www.macys.com/celebrate.
The Romare Bearden Foundation is one of the oldest foundations established by an African American visual artist. For more information www.beardenfoundation.org