Guides for Youth Programming Poster 17-B Elementary and Teen
Name of Poster: The Dove
Poster #: 17-B
Artist(s) or Maker(s): Romare Bearden (1911–1988)
Object(s) Identification: Collage
Medium: Cut and pasted photoreproductions and papers, gouache, pencil and colored pencil
Owner or Venue: Museum of Modern Art
Use Visual Thinking Strategies to discuss the poster in depth.
Use the Whole Book Approach to share one or more of the programming books suggested below to connect library resources to the poster via subject, style, or artist.
Using one or two intriguing sentences per book, booktalk a number of books from the bibliography to whet the appetite of your audience for more reading. Give books to interested takers for later checkout.
Add crafts, music, activities, etc. as your style dictates.
School Age (6–12), Teen (13–18)
Think about the way that collage as an art form conveys the hustle and bustle and noise of an urban scene, as well as its relationship to the rhythms of jazz, a musical style which Bearden loved. Read the Picturing America Teachers Resource Book (page 76) as well as Jan Greenberg’s Romare Bearden (Abrams, 2003) for insights into the artist and his work.
Make sure the children know what a collage is: the word is from the French term meaning “to glue,” a technique that may incorporate a variety of materials in a composition—from cut paper to anything that will stick with glue! Early 20th-century artists like Matisse and Dada artists have used collage, but Bearden was part of a new wave of artists who cut up images taken from magazines or reproduced on copiers, creating new relationships and interpretations that reflected black popular culture. He started in the 1960s. An important connection to children’s literature is that not only did Bearden create some children’s books, but his collage style influenced many award-winning children’s book illustrators: Christopher Myers, Bryan Collier, Javaka Steptoe to name a few. The books in the bibliography offer more possible programming titles.
(These can be read in a traditional manner or with the interactive picture book method described in Using the Whole Book Approach.)
For a program using a children’s book by Bearden:
Bearden, Romare. Li’l Dan the Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story. Simon and Schuster, 2003.
While the book is primarily mixed media (various types of paints), there is some collage, which children could find if they looked closely. This book has the advantages of being an authentic children’s book by the artist and an uplifting story about the contributions of a child in a world controlled by adults. There is an accompanying CD in which the story is read by Maya Angelou, so one could possibly project the story and play the CD.
For a program using children’s books by African American illustrators inspired by Bearden:
Collier, Bryan. Uptown. Henry Holt, 2000.
Myers, Christopher. Black Cat. Scholastic, 1999.
Myers, Christopher. Wings. Scholastic, 2000.
Any of these or a combination would be great choices to show how modern day illustrators use magazines, paint, and the collage style to interpret the black urban experience. Talk to kids about why this medium lends itself so well to this subject. Perhaps they’ll want to think about the fast/fragmented impressions they get when walking down a city street, captured so well in bits of overlapping paper or the piece of newspaper they see flying by on a street, the grafitti painted on walls, etc. They can also compare specific images in Bearden’s work with scenes by Collier and Myers. For example, compare the flying boy in Wings with the bird in The Dove or the role of a leader through the scene (s) played by the cats in The Dove and Black Cat. Of course, for Wings, children will get more out of the book if they understand the Icarus and Daedalus myth. There is much to discuss on each page of these books as well, as interest dictates.
For a young adult program using a book illustrated by Bearden and a book inspired by Bearden:
Hughes, Langston. The Block. Illustrated by Romare Bearden. Viking, 1995.
Myers, Walter Dean. Harlem. Illustrated by Christopher Myers. Scholastic, 1997.
Tying into the theme of a city street, discuss the rhythms—aural and visual—on an urban block. Discuss the thriving jazz scene in Harlem when Hughes was writing and the Harlem Renaissance. (Do some homework so you know the names and places mentioned in the poems in both books and the blues form. The Harlem Discussion Guide below will help.) Read some of the selections by Hughes in The Block, while showing the art and help teens to get a flavor of Harlem in the intersection of the poetry with the art. Linger over anything that interests them.
Read Harlem using the Whole Book Approach, asking kids what’s going on, how the art and text relate. Follow this link to definitions, descriptions, and an interview with the author.
Consult Mary Ann Kohl and Kim Solga’s Great American Artists for Kids (pp.70–71) or Carol Gnojewski’s African-American Crafts Kids Can Do! (pp.14–15) for instructions on collage-making. Play selections from the Branford Marsalis CD, Romare Bearden Revealed, while the children are creating.
Books Written or Illustrated by Bearden
Bearden, Romare. Li’l Dan the Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story. Simon and Schuster, 2003. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Hughes, Langston. The Block. Illustrated by Romare Bearden. Viking, 1995. (Elementary–Adult)
Johnson, Herschel. A Visit to the Country. Illustrated by Romare Bearden. Harper and Row, 1989. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Shange, Ntozake. I Live in Music. Illustrated by Romare Bearden. Stewart, Tabori and Chang. 1994. (Elementary, Teen)
Books about Bearden
Greenberg, Jan. Romare Bearden: Collage of Memories. Abrams, 2003. (Elementary, Teen)
Fine, Ruth. The Art of Romare Bearden. National Gallery of Art, 2003. (Adult)
Hartfield, Claire. Me and Uncle Romie. Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue. Dial, 2002. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Moore, Carroll. The Art of Romare Bearden. National Gallery of Art, 2003. (video) (Elementary–Adult)
Books Inspired by Bearden’s Art
Collier, Bryan. Uptown. Henry Holt, 2000. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall. Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. Lee and Low, 1997. (Elementary, Teen)
Medina, Tony. Deshawn Days. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Lee and Low, 2001. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Myers, Christopher. Black Cat. Scholastic, 1999. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
———. Wings. Scholastic, 2000. (Elementary)
Myers, Walter Dean. Blues Journey. Illustrated by Christopher Myers. Holiday House, 2003. (Elementary, Teen)
———. Harlem. Illustrated by Christopher Myers. Scholastic, 1997. (Elementary, Teen)
Perdomo, Willie. Visiting Langston. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Henry Holt, 2002. (Elementary)
Rappaport, Doreen. Freedom River. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Hyperion, 2000. (Elementary)
———. Martin’s Big Words. Illustrated by Bryan Collier. Hyperion, 2001. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Schertle, Alice. We. Illustrated by Kenneth Addison. Lee and Low. 2007. (Preschool–K, Elementary)
Balchin, Judy. Collage. Heinemann, 2003.
Gnojewski, Carol. African American Crafts Kids Can Do! Enslow, 2006.
Kohl, MaryAnn and Kim Solga. Great American Artists for Kids. Bright Ring, 2008.
Branford Marsalis Quartet. Romare Bearden Revealed. Rounder Records, 2003.
|Older Teen||Ages 16–18|