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Empress of the Blues

1974 Romare Bearden Born: Charlotte, North Carolina 1911 Died: New York, New York 1988 acrylic and pencil on paper and printed paper on paperboard 36 x 48 in. (91.4 x 121.9 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase in part through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment 1996.71 Not currently on view


Artwork Description

African American Art is a rich part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's collection, which is the largest and one of the finest in the United States. The museum began acquiring work by African American artists in the 1960s, some in depth — such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, William H. Johnson, and Alma Thomas. Many of the social, political, and cultural movements that came to define the twentieth century in America and captured the imagination of artists — such as the Jazz Age, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights movement — were rooted in African American communities.

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide. Nashville, TN: Beckon Books, 2015.

Keywords

Ethnic - African-American

Figure group

Performing arts - music - band

Performing arts - music - voice

collage

paint - acrylic

pencil

paper

paperboard