• Thu. Jan 26th, 2023

“Something Over Something Else”: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series brings 30 works of the influential African American artist to Cincinnati Art Museum

Romare Bearden, (1911-1988), United States, Profile/Part II, The Thirties: Rehearsal Hall, 1981, collage on board, Courtesy of the Collection of Adam Bush and Lisa Yun Lee. © Romare Bearden Foundation/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Photo by Karen Philippi

February 28–May 24, 2020

The pieces in Something Over Something Else appear in a chronological sequence, each accompanied by a title and short text written by Bearden for the original exhibitions of this series. These poetic and poignant narratives, written in collaboration with his friend, the writer Albert Murray, and shown in tandem with the collages, help lead viewers through Bearden’s story as he wished to share it.

 “Something Over Something Else” is sequenced in two parts. “Part I, The Twenties” plumbs memories from the artist’s youth in rural North Carolina and in industrial Pittsburgh. “Part II, The Thirties” celebrates his early adult life and artistic growth in New York City, surrounded by the vibrancy and innovation of the Harlem Renaissance. 

It also tells the story of a life bridging disparate experiences: rural and urban, rustic and metropolitan, North and South. Bearden interweaves his own biography with the experiences of African Americans of the time, when many were following the path of the Great Migration, enduring and driving tremendous cultural transition. The collages explore the nature of memory and the passage of time, moving beyond autobiography to explore American history, cultural identity and human experience.

Visit cincinnatiartmuseum.org for more information. One ticket for this exhibition also provides access to Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850–1970. Tickets are free for museum members and are available for purchase.