Art © Romare Bearden Foundation / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Title: Summertime
Date: 1967
Artist: Romare Bearden
American, 1911–1988
Medium: collage on board
56 x 44 in. (142.2 x 111.8 cm)
Credit Line: Museum Minority Artists Purchase Fund
Object Number: 22:1999
Place made: United States
Current Location: Not On View
This work by Romare Bearden, which belongs to a small number of large-scale collages he created in the 1960s, exemplifies the artist's commitment to the African-American experience. A woman eats an ice-cream cone in front of a brownstone, a man sits on a chair, and two oversized faces peer from behind window shades. The ice cream and open windows evoke the summer's heat. The woman's pose suggests a singer holding a microphone, and the title summons Cole Porter's lyric that "the living is easy." Yet the collage's active pattern of materials, its overwhelming size, and the masklike faces it presents undermine the simplicity of the scene. Within this work, Bearden successfully creates a tension between content and formal treatment that brings to mind the over-crowded and potentially explosive inner cities of the summer of 1967.
Signed: l.l., in black paint: romare bearden
Cordier and Ekstrom Gallery, New York, NY [1]

by 1973 -
Jesse and Toby Shanok, East Brunswick, NJ [2]

- 1999
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY

1999 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Michael Rosenfeld Gallery [3]

[1] Cordier and Ekstrom Gallery are listed as owners on an invoice dated June 10, 1999 from Michael Rosenfeld Gallery. Dates of ownership are not provided on this documant [SLAM document files].

[2] In a 1973 publication, Jesse and Toby Shanock are listed as owners of the work [Washington, McCleary Bunch. "The Art of Romare Bearden: The Prevalence of Ritual." New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1973.]. According to address labels on the verso of the painting, Jesse and Toby Shanok lived in East Brunswick, NJ.

[3] Invoice dated June 3, 1999 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, June 3, 1999.
Exhibition History
Title: African American Art: Masterworks of Contemporary Art
Date: June 24, 2005–August 28, 2005
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Romare Bearden: 1940-1970: The Prevalence of Ritual
Date: March 23 - June 9, 1971
Venue: Museum of Modern Art, New York
Publication History
Title: The Art of Romare Bearden: The Prevalence of Ritual
Author: McCleary Bunch Washington
Title: Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century
Year Published: 1997
Title: New Acquisitions: Romare Bearden
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Edition: January - March
Year Published: 2000
Title: The Art of Romare Bearden: The Prevalence of Ritual
Year Published: 1999
Title: Romare Bearden: His Life and Art
Author: Myron Schwartzman
Title: Romare Bearden
Periodical Title: St. Louis American
Author: Ishmael Lateef Ahmad
Title: Saint Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collection
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Modern Prints, Photographs, Paintings & Sculpture from the Saint Louis Art Museum
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Permalink to this object