MMA announces exhibition exploring Picasso’s influence on Romare Bearden  

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Romare Bearden (American, 1911-88). “At Five in the Afternoon”, 1946, oil on composition board. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, The University of Oklahoma, Norman; Purchase, U.S. State Department Collection, 1948. Romare Bearden Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS)

JANS – The Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) announces the opening of Bearden/Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations, an unprecedented exhibition that explores shared interests in works by world-renowned artists Romare Bearden and Pablo Picasso on November 11, 2023. Running through March 3, 2024, this exhibition sheds light on the fascinating connections between these two influential artists.

Working intermittently as an artist from 1940 to 1960, Romare Bearden initially focused on his Southern heritage, aiming to capture the essence of his childhood in the South and his upbringing in the North. His artistic endeavors were rooted in the recollections of sensory experiences – capturing the visual, auditory, and emotional fragments from his formative years.  

Throughout his life, Bearden gave back to the African American arts community and the art world, at large. He wrote scholarly articles and treatises on art and art history, and as an advocate and promoter of numerous artists, he also organized several group exhibitions and cofounded the Cinque Gallery, an art space named after the leader of the Amistad mutiny of 1839 and dedicated to young minority artists in need of exhibition opportunities.  

His legacy is woven throughout 20th-century music, academia, art, and social and political movements. And while Bearden was deeply inspired by Picasso, Bearden himself has become a legendary influence on generations of American artists who seek to incorporate social justice into the arts.

Laurie Hearin McRee Director of MMA, Betsy Bradley, said, “We are privileged to showcase artworks by two transformative artists at the Mississippi Museum of Art. The collection by Romare Bearden eloquently underscores the intriguing interplay between these distinguished creators, transcending geographical disparities as one hails from the American South and the other from Spain. These exhibitions channel global inspirations and provide a unique vantage point to reevaluate Picasso through the perspective of a Southern Black artist. This temporal exploration challenges assumptions and enriches our understanding of artistic narratives.”

Curated by Jonathan Stuhlman, Ph.D., senior curator of American Art at The Mint Museum, Rhythms and Reverberations features exclusive loans from esteemed museums and private collectors created by Picasso and Bearden. From abstract oils to collage experiments, the exhibition thoughtfully balances Bearden’s later collages and prints with rarely seen 1940s paintings that vividly reflect Picasso’s influence, from spatial construction to the incorporation of African motifs.  

OFor further details, visit: or call 601.960.1515.

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MMA announces exhibition exploring Picasso’s influence on Romare Bearden  

By Jackson Advocate News Service
October 30, 2023