Romare Bearden (September 2, 1911 – March 12, 1988) was an American artist and writer. He worked in several media including cartoons, oils, and collage.
Bearden was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He attended De Witt Clinton High School in the Bronx and completed his studies at New York University (NYU), graduating with a degree in science and education. His education was interrupted by stretches of time he spent as a professional baseball player in the Negro Leagues. Bearden took extensive courses in art and was a lead cartoonist and then art editor for the Eucleian Society monthly journal The Medley. Bearden had wide-ranging interests and abilities. He wrote and published articles on numerous topics and created political cartoons. He designed costumes and sets for prominent dance and theater companies, illustrated books by influential authors, co-wrote books about African American art and culture and composed songs. He was also offered an opportunity to play professional baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics, if he would agree to “pass as white”—an offer he refused.
Visit the Romare Bearden Foundation website.