Museums Offer Related Exhibits

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 28, 2003 | Go to article overview

Museums Offer Related Exhibits


Byline: Gary Tischler, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

"Blues and Dreams," the 21/2-month citywide celebration of the black experience in Washington, will be buttressed by two high-profile museum exhibitions.

On Sept. 14, the National Gallery of Art will debut "The Art of Romare Bearden," an exhibition of 130 works by the black artist who was one of the pre-eminent American artists of the 20th century. Fifteen years after his death, he remains a source of pride and inspiration for black artists all over the world.

The exhibition will show off the range and versatility of Mr. Bearden's career with paintings, drawings and watercolors, monotypes and edition prints, collages, photographs, wood sculpture, designs for record albums, costumes, stage sets and book illustrations. The exhibition coincides with the Simon and Schuster publication of Mr. Bearden's "Li'l Dan The Drummer Boy, A Civil War Story."

The American Textile Museum will feature "African-American Quilts from the Robert and Helen Cargo Collection" on Oct. 3. The 20 rare quilts - made mostly in Alabama in the 1970s, but some from the early 1900s - together make up a mosaic of quilt-making styles and traditions from patchwork quilts, to story quilts, strip quilts and quilts with abstract designs.

Mr. Cargo, a professor emeritus at the University of Alabama, and his wife decided to focus on Alabama. His collection now numbers 156 quilts.

Both exhibitions serve as a kind of root and base for the "Blues and Dreams" celebration as well as a catalyst for visitors and residents alike to explore the rich, diverse and layered aspects of the black experience and legacy in Washington.

The two exhibitions will include a large number of activities, special events and programs.

Here's a sampling:

"The Art of Romare Bearden"

* Panel Discussion: A Bearden Celebration - Members of Spiral, an artists' group, will discuss their work, the movement and Mr. Bearden. Participants include Emma Amos, Reginald Gammon, Merton Simpson, Richard Mayhew and others. …

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