Mother and Child

Image Not Available Due to Copyright Restrictions

Exhibition Label
In July 1963, a month before Martin Luther King’s historic march on Washington, Bearden and eleven other artists formed a group called Spiral to discuss how they could contribute to the civil rights movement. The moment was cathartic for Bearden, and he began making collages based on memories of black life in Pittsburgh, the rural south, and Harlem. He needed, he said, “to redefine the image of man in terms of the Negro experience.” Although the composition of Mother and Child echoes Renaissance paintings of the Madonna, Bearden configured the mother’s face as part modern woman and part Ife mask.

Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008
Mother and Child
On View
Not on view.
27 1/2 x 18 3/8 in. (69.8 x 46.7 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of Edith S. and Arthur J. Levin

Mediums Description
collage on paperboard
  • Abstract
  • Figure group – family – mother and child
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI