Spring Way

  • Romare Bearden, Spring Way, 1964, collage on paperboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Henry Ward Ranger through the National Academy of Design, 1999.9

In July 1963, a month before Martin Luther King’s historic march on Washington, D.C., 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.” The bleak and unforgiving sense of place in Spring Way, which was named for an alley near the Pittsburgh boardinghouse owned by Bearden’s grandmother, reflects the strong social conscience that inflected Bearden’s work anew in the 1960s.

Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008
Spring Way
Not on view
sheet and image: 6 589 38 in. (16.823.8 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of Henry Ward Ranger through the National Academy of Design

Mediums Description
collage on paperboard
  • Modern art movement – collage
  • Cityscape – Pennsylvania – Pittsburgh
  • Cityscape – street – Spring Way
  • Cityscape – street – alley
  • Architecture Exterior – domestic – house
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

More Artworks from the Collection

Recently Viewed