By Special to the Daily World
This February, a unique American master returns to the spotlight as Macy’s celebrates Black History Month with special events and exhibits dedicated to famed artist Romare Bearden. In conjunction with the Romare Bearden Foundation, Macy’s honors the rich history and legacy of the incomparable artist, writer and musician in celebration of this year’s 100th anniversary of his birth.
Romare Howard Bearden’s life was marked by the pursuit of art in all of its forms. A prolific creator, Bearden’s work encompassed art, music, design, history and literature. During his lifetime (1911-1988), Bearden experimented with many different mediums and artistic styles, but is best known for his richly textured collages. However his diverse interests included costume and set design for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Nanette Bearden’s Contemporary Dance Theatre, music composition and literary work such as his famed children’s book, “Li’l Dan, The Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story.”
To celebrate the artist’s centennial, Macy’s will spotlight Bearden’s work through special exhibitions featuring watercolors, prints, oil on paper and dramatic black and white photostats that date from 1964 to 1984, when Romare Bearden was at the peak of his artistic power. These satellite exhibits will showcase some rarely displayed works loaned by private collectors, in addition to works on loan from local galleries. Taking place at 11 Macy’s locations nationwide including stores in New Orleans, New York City, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Miami, the exhibits will be supplemented by works from artists influenced and inspired by Bearden.
Additional in-store celebrations will include children’s collage-making events, special readings of Bearden’s children’s book, “Li’l Dan, The Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story,” as well as cooking demonstrations from local chefs featuring Bearden’s favorite recipes and Caribbean dishes from the out-of-print cookbook, “Ma Chance’s French Caribbean Creole Cooking,” which he illustrated.
At the opening receptions, customers will have the opportunity to receive a 15 percent off community shopping pass, and a $10 Macy’s gift card. Additionally, with a purchase of $50 or more, while supplies last, customers can receive a printed scarf featuring Romare Bearden’s most revered work, “The Lamp.” From Feb. 2-23, Macy’s will also offer the opportunity to enter for the chance to win a trip for two to Paris, Romare Bearden’s beloved city and the inspiration for his work on the project, “Paris Blues Revisited.” Courtesy of American Airlines, the prize includes round-trip coach air travel, hotel and a $500 Macy’s shopping spree. American Airlines is a partner of Macy’s Black History Month celebration. A reception was held at Lenox Square Mall (second floor) on Feb. 9.