Romare Bearden: A Blend of Music and Culture Essay

Romare Bearden: A Blend of Music and Culture Essay

Length: 1575 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Romare Bearden was one of the most influential African American artists of the twentieth century. He grew up in New York and contributed largely to the progressive art of the Harlem Renaissance. He captured lively scenes of everyday life in his former home towns of North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Harlem. Some of his most highly regarded works take on the subject of music, jazz and blues in particular. He not only depicted musical scenes in his art, but he also composed and played in various jazz bands. It is clear that Romare Bearden's series Of the Blues and other works were highly influenced by the jazz and blues culture of Harlem.
In 1975, an exhibition was held at Cordier & Eckstrom Gallery in New York featuring Bearden’s charming musical progression: Of the Blues. This series was comprised of nineteen captivating collages featuring New York City clubs and other music scenes. This group of artwork explores jazz from every angle, says Schwartzman: “ the series traced jazz from its folk sources, sacred and secular, to the cities in which its major styles evolved (New Orleans, New York, Chicago, Kansas City), then to its performers, and finally to its abstract sounds". The collages from this exhibition showed the intensely personal relationship and interaction that Bearden had with music and its culture. He successfully illustrates the upbeat club atmosphere through a dynamic use of color and form that expresses the vibrant melodies that were performed. The notes of the instruments are nearly palpable when viewing this work.
A piece from 1974, entitled Of the Blues: Carolina Shout, was part of the series. It is a collage of what appears to be a baptism scene. One can assume that from the figures that stand above blue, watery f...


... middle of paper ...


...float because there is no apparent ground. the background is bright red and has large graphic circles of yellows, pinks, and blues. They seem to echo the idea of musical notes. It is composed of flat figural forms cut from vibrant paper. This was not the only album cover that Romare Bearden ever created. He also did another album cover for Wynton Marsalis called J Mood.
One can see that Romare Bearden's artwork was highly influenced by music. It can be seen in the bright and lively New York club scenes with the dancing couples and band performances. It can also be seen in the collages that depict the gritty music culture outside of the venues in the Storyville. He even used the improvisational method of jazz as technique for creating his dynamic collages. Bearden was certainly a genius at epitomizing vibrant, upbeat scenes of life in the jazz and blues culture.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Influence of Jazz in Romare Bearden's work

- The Influence of Jazz in Romare Bearden's work Romare Bearden was one of the most influential African American artists of the twentieth century. He grew up in New York and contributed largely to the progressive art of the Harlem Renaissance. He captured lively scenes of everyday life in his former hometowns of North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Harlem. Some of his most highly regarded works take on the subject of music, jazz and blues in particular. He even composed music and played in various jazz bands....   [tags: Art]

Powerful Essays
1431 words (4.1 pages)

Romare Bearden’s Collection Essay

- Featured and organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Romare Bearden’s collection is one that appreciates and depicts life for what it really is. Bearden did not like abstract expressionism. Instead, he made many collages depicting life with different perspectives, allowing the viewer to see reality, but also try to figure out the true meaning that Bearden meant to portray in the collage that was not directly seen by just looking at the picture. These collages were made by “Cut and pasted printed, colored and metallic papers, photostats, pencil, ink marker, gouache, watercolor, and pen and ink on Masonite” (MET Museum)....   [tags: Art]

Powerful Essays
1624 words (4.6 pages)

A Comparison of Romare Bearden and Alice Walker Essay

- Visual Artists are people who usually create art for visual perception in drawing, sculpture, graphics and painting, while authors are people who write novels, essays and poems for reading and understanding. When it comes to comparing Romare Bearden and Alice Walker, Romare Bearden was born in Charlotte North Carolina while Alice Walker was born in Eatonton, Georgia with both of them being born in the South at the time of racial segregation in the south. They both move to New York to pursue their carriers with Bearden moving to New York at a young age with his parents while Walker came to New York later in life to complete her education....   [tags: compare contrast]

Powerful Essays
1316 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about The, A Blend Of Religions

- In the last decades, new religious movements have got the attention of the media, scholars and even followers of established religious organizations. Some of them like Scientology are well known because many famous celebrities like Tom Cruise practice them. Others like Rastafarianism are known because of their strong political and social views. These new religious movements are creating a phenomenon in this modern time, especially in the history of religion. These new movements are often syncretic, “a blend of religions” (Molloy 473)....   [tags: Religion, New religious movement]

Powerful Essays
1304 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Life is Music

- Life is music. Overflowing with fervent emotions, life is one, powerful, grand symphony. Every human organization, ranging from a group in a language arts class to a country, is an orchestra. Each person plays a different part of the song, with a unique flavor and purpose. If one asks any orchestra player what an orchestra is, one will most likely hear the words “selflessness,” “respect,” and “consideration.” Professional conductors, or leaders of any organization, do not glare at a player for missing a beat or playing a wrong note....   [tags: Music]

Powerful Essays
557 words (1.6 pages)

Viva Raperos: How Music Can Interact With Politics Essay

- Introduction Passion: what does it mean. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, passion is defined as: “a strong and barely controllable emotion”. Humankind has expressed passion in multitudes of ways for as long as humans have possessed communication skills. Through art, science, literature, music and even politics humans have showcased passion. Passion can be either supportive or oppositional. Music has been the greatest medium for humans to express passion, due to the great range of emotions that can be realized through song....   [tags: Music]

Powerful Essays
1974 words (5.6 pages)

Essay about Fusion of Cultures in the Music of Louis-Moreau Gottschalk

- The American composer and pianist, Louis-Moreau Gottschalk (1829 – 1869), was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, one of the most culturally diverse areas in America during his time. His father, Edward Gottschalk, was of German-Jewish heritage, and his mother, Aimée de Bruslé, was a Creole of French-Roman Catholic background. The Bruslé family had fled from Haiti to New Orleans because of the rising slave rebellion. Also, his maternal Grandmother Bruslé and Sally, her African-American nurse, were originally from Saint-Dominque....   [tags: Music]

Powerful Essays
2052 words (5.9 pages)

The Power of Music Essay

- “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.” These were the words of Sergei Rachmaninoff, a Russian composer and pianist who was very influential in the twentieth century. Sergei’s perception of music was accurate because he understood the impact and significance music can have. Everybody knows what music is and they all have heard a form of it but most people underestimate the value and power music has in our everyday lives. Whether they know it or not music plays a vital role in the lives of people today....   [tags: Music]

Powerful Essays
997 words (2.8 pages)

Country Music Essay

- Country music is one of the most diverse changing genres in music that we have today. Some songs can take you on a beautiful story with a happy ending and some can make you feel heart broken and down in the dumps. Both can be great songs, and deliver powerful messages, but can be done in very different ways. Today, the country music that I know and love can either be a good ole laid back mellow song with nothing but an acoustic guitar, or have an entire band rocking out the whole song like songs that are very commonly associated with an artist like Jason Aldean, Luke Bryant, and Brad Paisley....   [tags: Country Music Essays]

Free Essays
932 words (2.7 pages)

Mariachi Music Essay

- Mariachi Music The origins of the word "mariachi" are not very clear. One theory, that the word came from the French word for marriage has been totally discounted. Many historians believed that the word originated when a Frenchman named Maximillian was the emperor of Mexico. Evidence of the usage of the word dates back much earlier than the arrival of Europeans, so the word had to come from somewhere else. Another theory states that the origin came from the name of the wood used to make the guitars or platforms on which the musicians performed....   [tags: Music Musical History Essays]

Powerful Essays
1593 words (4.6 pages)