The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University

*THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO A LATER DATE* Three poets will read and discuss their own poems in the midst of Romare Bearden’s paintings and the “black odysseys” context his work provides.  Elizabeth Alexander will lead with an overview; the poets will give readings; and then will share ideas on Bearden, black art and poetry, The Odyssey, epic form in African American poetry, and other subjects. Rowan Ricardo Philips’ poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Poetry, among other publications. He is author of the forthcoming Heaven,...

When he created his Black Odyssey, Romare Bearden was improvising at the same time that he was carefully constructing works of art he knew would last. We hope to begin a conversation in which Bearden’s achievement is placed in a variety of contexts. First, to investigate the myths of painterly creation, we will look at clips from films that have attempted to represent the work of the artist.  Regardless of how much credence we wish to give to these cinematic representations, we will consider scenes from An Unmarried Woman (1978), New York Stories (1989), Pollock (2000), Basquiat (1996),...

Columbia to Explore Romare Bearden's A Black Odyssey

A traveling Smithsonian exhibition, Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey, * made its final stop at Columbia’s Wallach Gallery in November. Centered around collages based on Homer’s Odyssey by the celebrated African American artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988) and curated by Robert O’Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature, the exhibition is the focal point of a unique yearlong, University-wide exploration of Bearden’s iconic work. Departments and schools, students and faculty across Columbia, from the Core Curriculum to the Global Centers, are engaging in an array of public programs, including lectures and conferences, jazz and spoken word performances, and other special events on and off campus that will continue through the Spring of 2015.

For updates and to register for events please visit Watch this Video by the Columbia News Video Team for more information about this exciting project.


*Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in cooperation with the Romare Bearden Foundation and Estate and DC Moore Gallery. The exhibition and its related educational resources are supported by a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.