Three Folk Musicians (Primary Title)

Romare Bearden, American, 1911 - 1988 (Artist)

Collage of various papers with paint and graphite on canvas
Unframed: 50 × 60 × 1 1/2 in. (127 × 152.4 × 3.81 cm)
Framed: 57 × 67 × 3 1/2 in. (144.78 × 170.18 × 8.89 cm)
Not on view

Three Folk Musicians, like much of Bearden’s imagery in his collage work, re-creates an ordinary scene of African American life. The artist blends a wide range of Black cultural moments, from the personal to the collective, with a modernist aesthetic that fragments and abstracts. Bearden's collage technique, constructing fractured forms out of cut-and-reassembled materials, results in flat and angular images.

In this composition, three musicians stand side by side, their different-sized features recall the polyrhythmic qualities of traditional African American music and visual art. This work pays homage to “the down-home music” of the African American South that has inspired so many visual and sonic artists.

Signed by the artist at upper left corner: Romare Bearden
Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment
2021: "The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse", VMFA, May 22 - September 6, 2021

Cordier & Ekstrom, New York, Romare Bearden: New Collages, October 10-November 4, 1967.
Traveled to J.L. Hudson Gallery, Detroit.

Museum of Modern Art, New York, Romare Bearden: The Prevalence of Ritual, March 25-June 7, 1971.
Traveled to National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, DC; University Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, CA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; North Carolina Central University, Raleigh, NC; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.

Smith Kramer Art Collections, Kansas City, MO, American Works on Paper, 1984-1985

Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, Memory and Metaphor: The Art of Romare Bearden, 1940-1987, April 14-August 11, 1991.
Traveled to Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Wright Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, The Art of Romare Bearden, September 14, 2003-January 4, 2004.
Traveled to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA.

Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC, Romare Bearden: Southern Recollections, September 2011-January 8, 2012.

©artist or artist’s estate

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