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Maker(s):Bearden, Romare Howard
Culture:American (1911-1988)
Title:Summer Courtyard
Date Made:1971
Type:Collage
Materials:Collage
Measurements:Frame: 21 1/16 in x 18 in x 1 9/16 in; 53.5 cm x 45.7 cm x 4 cm; Sight: 14 1/2 in x 11 in; 36.8 cm x 28 cm
Accession Number:  MH 2015.26
Credit Line:Gift of Joyce Marcus (Joyce Eisner, Class of 1953) and Robert L. Marcus
Museum Collection:  Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
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Label Text:
An activist in the Civil Rights Movement, Romare Bearden was interested in conveying the universality of human experiences. Through the medium of collage, Bearden extended the meaning of his works beyond the specific or anecdotal: “I use many disparate elements to form a figure, or part of a background. I rarely use an actual photograph of a face but build them from parts of African masks, animal eyes, marbles, corn, and mossy vegetation,” he wrote, “I seek connections, so that my paintings can’t be only what they appear to represent.” Bearden’s art is autobiographical, but it is also rich with metaphors and references to art history. Summer Courtyard reflects Bearden’s interest in Dutch genre painters and their use of geometric shapes within a composition. The subject matter, which also recalls scenes by these 17th-century artists, relates to his own experience growing up in the American South, where the courtyard was an important social and familial gathering space.

-Hannah Blunt, Associate Curator, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Jan. 2017)

Tags:
African American; cities; collages

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=MH+2015.26

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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