Romare Bearden, 1911–1988
Romare Bearden's life and art were marked by exceptional talent, encompassing a broad range of intellectual and scholarly interests, including music, performing arts, history, literature, and world art. Bearden was also a celebrated humanist, as demonstrated by his lifelong support of young, emerging artists.

Bearden was the recipient of many awards and honors throughout his lifetime. Honorary doctorates were given by Pratt Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Davidson College, and Atlanta University, to name but a few. He received the Mayor's Award of Honor for Art and Culture in New York City in 1984 and the National Medal of Arts, presented by President Ronald Reagan, in 1987.

-Romare Bearden Foundation  

About the Bearden Fellowship

On the occasion of the landmark 20th anniversary of the Romare Bearden Graduate Minority Museum Fellowship, the Saint Louis Art Museum welcomes the current Fellow and eighteen former Fellows to a celebration of the program during the National Alliance of African and African American Art Support Groups (NAAAAASG) conference at the Museum.

According to Renee Franklin, community partnerships director and current manager of the Fellowship, the long term goal of the program is "to build a pool of talented young minority professionals to work in art museums, galleries, and arts organizations, as well as in universities."

The Fellowship, named for African American artist Romare Bearden, was established with a gift from donors to the Museum. Since the program's inception, Bearden Fellows have spent their year at the Museum teaching, doing research, delivering talks, and writing gallery materials. Several Fellows curated exhibitions and assisted with the reinstallation of collections. Above all, the Fellows have represented the Museum at events throughout the St. Louis community.

Romare Bearden, American, 1911–1988; Summertime, 1967; collage on board; 56 x 44 inches; Museum Minority Artists Purchase Fund 22:1999; Art © Romare Bearden Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

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