Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Romare Bearden: Collage of Memories, by Jan Greenberg

Romare Bearden: Collage of Memories
by Jan Greenberg
artwork by Romare Bearden
New York, Harry N. Abrams
ISBN 0-8109-4589-4

Greenberg uses Bearden's own collages to illustrate a biography of the Harlem artist, 1911-1988. Includes timeline of important dates and bibliography.

Unlike most picturebooks, this one doesn't use artwork created originally to illustrate the text. Instead, author Jan Greenberg leads the reader through something like an exhibit of Bearden's art, letting the text guide and inform without detracting from the pictures, which are colorful and rich with personal history. The reader learns of Bearden's childhood and his extended family, the atmosphere of the Jazz Age in Harlem, and then his rise to public acclaim in New York City during the 1940s. Occasional photographs from the Bearden Foundation show a realistic side of the artist's life to flesh out the world depicted in his collages. At the back of the book is a timeline of important dates in Bearden's history (including posthumous honors in the world of modern art), a brief glossary of art terms, and bibliographical references, which make this picturebook an excellent resource for a middle school or even high school student studying the history of jazz, modern art, or Romare Bearden himself.

Author Info
no Illustrator Info
Media: collage, photomontage, oil on canvas

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