(b 1911; d 1988) Innovative American painter-collagist, Romare Bearden is considered one of the most original artists of the twentieth century. While studying education in college, Bearden worked as a cartoonist and art editor for such notable student journals as NYU’s The Medley and Boston University’s The Beanpot. He began his lifelong pursuit of art after joining the Harlem Arts Guild, though he worked as a social worker in New York from the 1930s through the 60s. During this time he practiced his art at night and on the weekends and had his first solo exhibition in Harlem in 1940. He worked in many different mediums including oil paint, watercolor, collage and photomontage and focused on areas of social and political concern, particularly the lives of African American people in his native Harlem. His style was crude yet powerful and derived from his study of medieval art. He became quite a prolific artist during his lifetime and his work was exhibited all across the United States, as well as in Europe.