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Romare Bearden Prints on Display at The Taft Museum

Celebrate February’s Black History Month by honoring one of the most influential and passionate African American artists in US history- From Process to Print: Graphic Works by Romare Bearden is a vast exploration of cultural perspectives Bearden experienced throughout his exciting life. On display through April 29 at The Taft Museum, Bearden’s works invoke images of urban and family life, with major themes around jazz and biblical art. Multi- talented Bearden was also a prominent writer, often focusing on social issues that African Americans faced. A humanist, Bearden  received many awards throughout his life, including the National Medal of Art in 1987, presented to him by President Ronald Reagan.

Bearden, who was born in Charlotte, NC on September 2, 1911, seemed to soak up everything that surrounded him throughout his ever changing life, beginning with when his parents moved to New York City when he was still a young child. The Harlem apartment in which he grew up was often a place where scholarly and artistic people, such as W.E.B. DuBois and Charles Alston, hung out to often converse about political and social issues. This incredible experience as a child surely fueled his desire to get involved in worldly issues, leading him to eventually study philosophy in France after serving in the army. Bearden went on to earn his teaching degree from NYU and his pieces have been shown in both the US and Europe for decades. He also worked as a New York City Social worker for over 25 years as well as an editorial cartoonist for the Baltimore Afro-American. Unfortunately, this exceptional artist and activist passed away in New York City on March 12, 1988.

This exhibition showcases more than 75 bold prints made by Bearden in over a span of 30 years of amazing artistry. Many of the process he used are displayed, including screenprints, etchings, lithographs, photo projections and aquatints. An illustrated catalog of these pieces has been published by Pomegranate Communication.

The Taft Museum of Art and 690 privately owned individual pieces were gifts from the family of former President William Howard Taft in 1927 to the city of Cincinnati. After substantial renovation, the museum opened to the public in 1932. It is a National Historic Landmark and it’s 191 year old wooden structure is considered one of the best examples of Federal architecture in the US. Visit this incredible place Tuesday through Sunday, 11 AM- 4 PM, and also weekends from 11 AM- 5 PM. Adult admission, including parking, is $10 and children 11 and under are free. On Sundays, admission is free for everyone!