The Savoy, 1975
The Foundation has actively participated in and developed legacy-based programs and projects that advance new scholarship on Bearden, expand public knowledge of his involvement with other disciplines, including music and literature. Projects enhance the public visibility of Bearden and the Foundation.
The Foundation has worked with the St. Louis Art Museum for the past three years to host Romare Bearden Fellows in New York. This Post Graduate Minority Fellowship was started in 1992 with the objective to cultivate future museum professionals from historically underrepresented groups or backgrounds by advancing the knowledge, skills, and networking capabilities that enable museum careers.
Bearden Fellows receive hands-on work experience in various museum functions, including curatorial, public programing, interpretive materials, audience development, marketing and fundraising. While specific assignments are tailored to the Museum's needs as well as the Bearden Fellow’s skill and interests, all Fellows receive individualized mentoring and training from senior museum staff that fosters confidence building critical to entry level museum professionals.
The Foundation had the opportunity to consult on the development of permanent signage for one of the biggest projects ever to celebrate a visual artist. Bearden’s hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina celebrated his life by building a park in his name and spirit. The park design is based on Bearden’s collages and paintings as interpreted by supervising artist Norie Sato.
In 2010 the Foundation began to plan a national celebration commemorating the 100 anniversary of Romare Bearden’s birth. Institutions that hold Bearden art participated in efforts to highlight those works that year; Bearden’s hometown of Charlotte, NC threw a citywide celebration with its cultural institutions; the Mint Museum of Art developed the signature exhibition Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections; The Studio Museum in Harlem created the 3-part exhibition The Bearden Project that commissioned contemporary artists to create artistic responses to the artist’s legacy; Cultural institutions around the country participated with their own programs of exhibitions, concerts, dance performances, talks and lectures.
The Bearden Foundation developed a new website dedicated to the centennial and capturing all the wonderful events in New York and beyond. The special feature “Bearden 100” allowed 100 artists to pick their favorite Bearden artwork. This idea was designed to give voice to the influence, as well as connecting back to these artist’s own work. Check out the Bearden 100 feature where artists weighed in on their favorite works.
The Bearden Foundation partnered with Macy’s New York in a national celebration of Bearden’s legacy. The project spread over twelve of their markets simultaneously, and was accompanied by a special webpage, in- store exhibitions, concerts, gifts and special guests. We had an overwhelming response and the beautiful displays helped to introduce Bearden art to new audiences.
Events held in stores: Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Atlanta, Aventura, Charlotte, New Orleans and Houston and New York City which featured Susan Taylor.
The Foundation conceived and led a historic seven-month long New York Citywide celebration to honor Bearden’s legacy. The Romare Bearden Homecoming Celebration (October 2004 – March 2005), coincided in part with the Whitney Museum of American Art’s presentation of his retrospective, and included over twenty participating cultural and educational institutions in all five boroughs offering engaging art, music, dance and family programs.
Through the Celebration, the Foundation reached a broad public, educating them about Bearden’s multifaceted talents and interests.
On the occasion of the retrospective in 2003, the National Gallery of Art commissioned a music album in recognition of Bearden’s love of jazz. This became the musical project of saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his recording label, resulting in Romare Bearden Revealed, a jazz CD inspired by Bearden’s art.
It featured all new arrangements of Bearden favorites, including the acclaimed song Seabreeze of which he co-authored. The Foundation contributed to the development of an accompanying booklet of images, now a collector’s item.