Mint Museum Uptown includes a permanent gallery devoted to the work of Romare Bearden (1911-1988), who was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, and held fast to family connections there throughout his life. As a child, Bearden moved with his parents to Pittsburgh, and later settled in New York City’s Harlem. One of America’s foremost modernists, Bearden is best known for his groundbreaking use of collage and vibrant portrayals of American life, depicting subjects that range from contemporary urban scenes to nostalgic recollections of the rural South. Skillfully navigating the 20th century divide between abstraction and representation, Bearden was especially drawn to the improvisational medium of collage, as this technique allowed him to structure distinctive compositions based on modernist principles, such as fragmentation, flattened space, and the merging of past and present.
In 1980, The Mint Museum organized the first nationally touring exhibition of Bearden’s work: Romare Bearden, 1970-1980. More recently, in 2011 the museum organized Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections, another nationally touring exhibition in celebration of the centennial of the artist’s birth. Today, his work is among the top artistic focus areas of The Mint Museum, which holds the largest repository of his art of any public art museum.
In August 2013, Mecklenburg County Park and Rec is opening Romare Bearden Park one block north of Mint Museum Uptown on North Church Street. Click here for more information.