Talking Points: Romare Bearden

Videos and sources to help you explore the work of African-American artist Romare Bearden.

Please note that this page contains links to external websites and has videos from external websites embedded. At the time of creating, AccessArt checked all links to ensure content is appropriate for teachers to access. However external websites and videos are updated and that is beyond our control. 

Please let us know if you find a 404 link, or if you feel content is no longer appropriate. 

We strongly recommend as part of good teaching practice that teachers watch all videos and visit all websites before sharing with a class. On occasion there may be elements of a video you would prefer not to show to your class and it is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure content is appropriate. Many thanks. 

*If you are having issues viewing videos it may be due to your schools firewall or your cookie selection. Please check with your IT department.*


This resource is free to access and is not a part of AccessArt membership.


ages 9-11
ages 11-14
ages 14-16
free to access

Romare Bearden

Romare Bearden’s artwork includes poetic memories from his childhood, powerful and thought-provoking statements about African American culture, and reinterpretations of biblical stories from an African American perspective.

In the work below, we see Bearden’s collages of Homers Odyssey, influenced by the quilting craft from African-American slaves and by post modern artists such as of Henri Matisse. 

Download the PDF at this link to see some high quality images of the work produced. 

The following video describes Romare’s work as a Black American artist.

You can find a Google Arts & Culture Story about Romare’s work here.

Questions to Ask Children

“You sing on the canvas. You improvise, you find the rhythm, and catch it good, and structure it as you go along, then the song is you.” Romare Bearden.

What do you think Romare meant by the quote above? 

What do you think it is about the shapes and colours Romare uses in his artwork that helps his images speak to so many people?

You May Also Like…

Pathway: working with shape and colour

This is featured in the 'Working with Shape and Colour' pathway

This is featured in the ‘Working with Shape and Colour’ pathway

using sketchbooks to make visual notes

Find out how pupils can respond to artists work in sketchbooks

Find out how pupils can respond to artists work in sketchbooks

Show me what you see

Enable close looking and drawing with this exercise

Enable close looking and drawing with this exercise