Segments in this Video

Romare Bearden: Artist (03:10)


Bearden began his career in art as a lyric writer and cartoonist. In classes with mentor George Grosz, he practiced drawing more realistic images; Grosz noted his habit of "slapdash" drawing.

Art Lessons (03:21)

Bearden credits his most important lesson in art to a prostitute named Ida who cleaned his studio after he helped her find a job. He received the Frederick Douglass award and authored books on aesthetics and history.

Immediacy and Cubism (03:54)

Ntozake Shange, poet and playwright, praises Bearden’s work. She believes Bearden works with paint in ways that are similar to what she does with words. Bruce Duff Hooton, describes the visual effects and techniques of Bearden's collages.

Visual Inspiration (06:15)

See images of African cultural activities and hear a poetry reading.

Southern Tales (04:10)

Shange praises the way Bearden's work brings images to life. He tries to bring African-American experiences into visual art.

Images of Harlem (03:20)

See images that inspired Bearden's artwork.

Harlem in Artwork (03:35)

Bearden's works reflects what he saw in Harlem and celebrates people. He creates renditions of people in certain social conditions.

Creative Process (04:33)

Bearden discusses the creative process with author Al Murray. Bearden took a moment of actuality and converted it into an aesthetic.

Singing Sparrows (02:20)

View images of Bearden's artwork. Listen to poetic interpretations.

Human Art (03:57)

Bearden uses African forms to uncover roots and study humans. His work is not regarded as black art but as human art.

Life Takes Over (04:00)

Bearden relates a story of his life after World War II when he lived in Paris. An artist talks about collaborating with Bearden on set design and costumes.

Costume and Set Design (03:09)

Watch a rendition of a play that features Bearden's designs.

Church Rituals (03:50)

Bearden embodies ritual activities of Afro-Americans from rural South, communicating church activities like baptism in his work.

Bearden's Odyssey (03:05)

Bearden's artwork spans childhood to adulthood and rural life to urban sophistication.

Blues and Beauty (02:20)

A friend of Bearden's discusses days of jamming and partying with Bearden. Bearden talks about listening to the blues as a boy.

Credits: Bearden Plays Bearden, Part 1: The Art of Life of Romare Bearden (01:28)

Credits: Bearden Plays Bearden, Part 1: The Art of Life of Romare Bearden

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Bearden Plays Bearden, Part 1: The Art of Life of Romare Bearden

Part of the Series : Bearden Plays Bearden
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Narrated by James Earl Jones, this film explores the many art forms of Romare Bearden, his creative process, and the cultural and traditional aspects of African American life that inspired him. 

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: BVL114536

ISBN: 978-1-68272-812-3

Copyright date: ©1980

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.