was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1911. He completed his undergraduate education in New York City and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bearden graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from New York University. During this time, Bearden supplemented his income by playing semiprofessional baseball and publishing political cartoons. Following his graduation from NYU, Bearden attended the Art Students' League. Bearden later joined the Harlem Artists Guild, where he immersed himself in studies of cubism, Chinese landscape painting, the Italian Renaissance, and Social Realism. In the 1930s he exhibited in several shows at the Harlem YWCA and the Harlem Art Workshop while employed as a case worker for the New York City Department of Social Services. In 1940, Bearden enjoyed his first solo exhibition. From 1942 to 1945 he served in the United States Army. Upon the end of his military career, Bearden returned to art and began to explore different mediums and styles. He is best known for his work in collages, photomontages, watercolors, paintings and prints. Bearden was a talented teacher, art historian, author, and composer. His interests included literature, history, mathematics, music, and the performing arts. Bearden drew inspiration from various historical, literary, and musical sources throughout his lifetime. However, many of his artworks were inspired by his experiences while in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Harlem and Pittsburgh. He was cofounder of the Cinque Gallery in New York City (with Ernest Crichlow and Norman Lewis). Bearden's work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, among others. Retrospectives about Romare Bearden were held at the Museum of Modern Art (1971), The Mint Museum of Art (1980) and the Detroit Institute of the Arts (1986). He received the prestigious Mayor's Award of Honor for art and culture and the President's National Medal of Arts. Bearden was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Romare Bearden died on March 12, 1988 at the age of 76.