Born 1911, Charlotte, North Carolina
Died 1988, New York, New York
Born during the Jim Crow South, Bearden moved to Harlem, NY with his parents at an early age. He quickly became familiar with the artists of the Harlem Renaissance, and through his own paintings, collages, and prints strove to produce visually innovative work concentrating on the African-American experience. Bearden graduated from New York University and in 1963, together with Norman Lewis, he founded the Spiral Group, an artistic collective that produced works of art in response to the civil rights movement.
Bearden's work is included in important public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Studio Museum in Harlem.
He has had retrospectives at the Mint Museum of Art (1980), the Detroit Institute of the Arts (1986), as well as numerous posthumous retrospectives, including The Studio Museum in Harlem (1991), the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2003). In 1987, President Ronald Regan awarded him the National Medal of Arts.