Survey: Romare Bearden Foundation

Posted August 05, 2010 by Anonymous
Part 1.
Year Founded: 
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
An artist foundation. A nonprofit organization established by the artist’s estate to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of Romare Bearden
1c. Organization's annual budget.: 
$750,001 - $1,000,000
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Part 2.
2a. Mission Statement: 
The Romare Bearden Foundation realizes its mission by preserving and making publicly accessible Bearden’s artworks and extensive archives of books, articles, letters, photographs and other materials; hosting, supporting and presenting scholarly and public programs, including symposia, panel presentations and school-based programs featuring his art and life; providing support for and encouragement of museum exhibitions, new scholarly research and publications on the artist; and supporting the creative and intellectual development of up-and-coming African-American artists and scholars.
Website Link to Mission Statement:
2b. Organization History / Organizational Overview. Index of important events in organization's history.: 
The Romare Bearden Foundation was established as a nonprofit organization by the estate of Romare Bearden in 1990, two years after the artist died. Nanette Rohan Bearden, the artist’s wife and a noted dancer and choreographer, was president of the Foundation until her death in 1996. Since it moved from Staten Island, where it operated from the home of Mrs. Bearden and her family. Originally located on Staten Island, the Foundation moved to Manhattan in 1999, expanded operations in its new headquarters, strengthened its administrative infrastructure and Board activity, secured new intellectual capital by forming a distinguished Board of Advisors, formalized its operations, enhanced its local and national profile with the realization of numerous projects, and defined new programs, goals and plans for the future. In 2003, the Foundation changed its status from a private to a public charitable organization, allowing it to serve the public more broadly.
Website Link to Organization's History / Organization Overview:
2c. Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History.: 
Organized by the National Gallery of Art and curated by Ruth Fine, this exhibition toured five major museums in the United States (September 2003 - April 2005). The Art of Romare Bearden was the most comprehensive retrospective ever assembled of the artist’s large body of work. The exhibition contained approximately 130 works that explored the complexity and scope of Bearden’s evolution and featured many rarely exhibited and/or never before seen works from private collections. The exhibition was organized into several sections: Origins, Circa 1964, Mecklenburg Memories, The City and Its Music, Stories, Women, Monotypes, Collaborations, and Late Work. The exhibition was accompanied by a comprehensive 334-page catalogue (The Art of Romare Bearden) published by the National Gallery of Art in association with Harry N. Abrams, New York, and a new documentary on Romare Bearden, also produced by the National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery Exhibition and National Tour was made possible with generous support from AT&T. See the panel of museums to the right for a list of venues and schedules. Something All Our Own: The Grant Hill Collection of African American Art The first time that a major American athlete has exhibited nationally a personal art collection of this scale and magnitude, The Grant Hill Collection includes 46 works by outstanding African-American artists. Several pieces by Romare Bearden are in the Collection, including Serenade (1941), Number 9 (1961), Seed Time (1969) and They That Are Delivered From the Noise of the Archers (1942), which was on tour with The Art of Romare Bearden exhibition. In the past, the Foundation fulfilled its mandate primarily through modest grants to talented art students, art programs that nurture the creativity of children, cultural institutions that aid deserving artists, and scholarly research and preservation of Bearden’s work. Grantees included the Madison Arts Center UrbanArts Outreach Program; Cinque Gallery, New York; Bridge Street Preparatory School, Brooklyn, New York; Saint Augustine School of the Arts, New York; Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia; Davidson College, North Carolina; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. Over the past several years, the Foundation has actively participated in and developed special programs and projects that advanced new scholarship on Bearden, expanded public knowledge of his involvement with other disciplines, including music and literature, as well as enhanced its own public visibility. Exhibitions The Foundation worked closely with the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in developing The Art of Romare Bearden,the most comprehensive retrospective exhibition of Bearden’s work to date and the first major exhibition of an African-American artist ever mounted at that institution. The exhibit traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Romare Bearden Homecoming Celebration The Foundation conceived and developed an historic seven-month long New York Citywide celebration to honor Bearden’s legacy. The Romare Bearden Homecoming Celebration (October 2004 – March 2005), coincided in part with the Whitney Museum of American Art’s presentation of his retrospective and included over twenty participating cultural and educational institutions in all five boroughs offering engaging art, music, dance and family programs. Through the Celebration, the Foundation reached a broad public, educating them about Bearden’s multifaceted talents and interests. Symposia Initiated in 1998, the Bearden National Symposium series encourages and supports new scholarship on Bearden at colleges and universities across the country. The series was launched in New York with “Celebrating the Legacy: Conversations on the Art and Life of Romare Bearden,” presented at New York University. The second symposium, “The World of Romare Bearden,” was held at the Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University, in 2004. Educational Programming In partnership with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., the Foundation presented a well-received school- based residency program and a bookmaking and exhibition project using Bearden’s posthumously published children’s book, Li’l Dan, the Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story. The program was funded by the Fannie Mae Foundation. Collaborations In recognition of Bearden’s love of jazz, the Foundation conceived of a musical project with saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his recording label, resulting in Romare Bearden Revealed, a new jazz CD inspired by Bearden’s art, which included a reinterpretation of his acclaimed song, Seabreeze. Legacy-Based Programs & Projects Programs and projects that support scholarship, exhibitions and publications about the artist and that preserve and make publicly accessible his artwork and personal library and archives. Romare Bearden Archives This rich resource will add substantively to the scholarship on twentieth-century American art and illuminate Bearden’s extraordinary creativity. The archives contain correspondence, sketchbooks, awards, sheet music, photographs, video and cassette tape recordings and published and unpublished manuscripts. Bearden’s personal library of over 2,500 books and journals reflects the broad range of his artistic and aesthetic interests. The archival materials will be processed and cataloged, with an appropriate environment created for their storage, use and display. To help us realize this mission, support the Foundation. Artwork Preservation An ongoing project to preserve the extraordinary body of work left to the artist’s estate, including collages, photomontages, watercolors, oils and prints, as they need conservation. To support this initiative, click here. Exhibitions National and international exhibitions of Bearden’s artwork in museums and galleries. Small-scale presentations of Bearden’s art from the estate’s collection, as well as artwork by artists influenced by Bearden, exhibited in the Foundation’s art gallery. National Symposium Series A national program developed in partnership with and presented at colleges and universities to generate new scholarship on Bearden’s art, life and legacy and inspire fresh ideas and approaches to his work. To support this initiative, click here. Cinque Gallery - A Program of the Romare Bearden Foundation The reestablishment of key components of the Cinque Gallery as a program of the Foundation. Bearden established Cinque Gallery in 1969 with Norman Lewis and Ernest Crichlow. With the closing of the Gallery, the Foundation assumes its administration as part of Bearden’s legacy as an institution builder and supporter of artists. To help us realize this mission, support the Foundation. Grant-Giving Programs The Foundation will expand its previous grant-giving program by establishing discrete funds that benefit and support three groups: children, young (emerging) artists and scholars. The focus of the program reflects Bearden’s interest in scholarship both as an author of books on art and an avid reader of scholarly literature, and his lifelong advocacy and support of young and underrepresented African-American artists and the cultural and educational organizations that support them. Structured, competitive programs will award grants, scholarships and stipends that nurture artistic talent as well as support creative and educational aspirations. School Programs Designed for children in grades K-12, the program will provide long- term support to a select group of students starting in middle school and continuing through high school. Program components include: 1) Grants and stipends to further the education of talented, financially needy art students; and 2) Internships through collaborations with art schools to deepen appreciation and exposure to art. To help support this important initiative, click here. National Bearden Curriculum Project The development and national distribution of a comprehensive and content-rich curriculum based on key themes from Bearden’s art and life. Curriculum packets with slides, video and collage demonstration guides for teachers will be developed. The project, piloted in New York, will include a school-based teacher-training component and site visits to the Foundation’s art gallery. To help support this initiative, click here. National Artists Program A competitive scholarship/grant program administered in partnership with universities and colleges nationally to provide talented African- American art students with modest grants to support their artistic development. To support this initiative, click here. National Scholars Program A national competitive program that provides support for masters or postdoctoral studies to young African-American scholars who aspire to continue their higher education, but are hindered by a lack of financial resources. To support this new initiative, click here.
Website Link to Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History:
Part 3.
3a. Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals:: 
Grace Stanislaus
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Tallal ELBoushi
3b. Could any of these individuals assist in providing an oral history of your organization?: 
Part 4.
4a. Is organization currently active?: 
4b. Year activity suspended if no longer active.: 
Organization Still Active
Part 5.
5a. Type of organization at its founding.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
5b. Type of organization currently, or at the termination of activities.: 
Non-Profit [IRS certified]
Part 6.
6a. Does the organization have an archive?: 
6b. Are there any short or long-term threats to the organization?: 
None / Not Applicable
6c. Other threats to the organization:: 
Are there other threats to your organization? Please describe below.
Part 7.
7a. How important is to the organization to preserve the organization’s historical material. From 1 – Very Important to 5 – Not Important.: 
1. Very Important
7b. Has planning for the preservation and documentation of archive begun?: 
7c. Does the organization know how and where to seek expertise and assistance?: 
7d. Does the organization have specific concerns regarding starting an archive working with its historic materials?: 
Lack of Staff
Part 8.
8a. Is the organization's archives in the collection of another institution or promised to one?: 
8a. Location: 
IF YES to 8: University (Name)
8b. Archival materials are also located at:: 
Where are these locations?: 
Where are these locations? [I.E. Home / Office of Private Individual(s) (i.e. Former Board, Staff, Funders, etc)]
Part 9.
9. Does the organization maintain archives for any other organization.: 
IF YES to 9: 10a. Please describe:
Part 10a.
10a. Is the archive accessible to scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10b.
10b. Are there conditions of access for scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10c.
10c. How are arrangements made for access to archive?: 
A phone or email inquiry is made by the researcher. Once that request is received by the Foundation, a dedicated staff member sets an appointment with the researcher in order for them to view their requested materials.
Part 10d.
10d. Would you allow access in the future?: 
Part 10e.
10e. Under what circumstances would access to archives be allowed.: 
By hiring a Project Archivist to process Romare Bearden’s papers for use as a public archive for research and towards subsequent conservation work. The Project Archivist will be responsible for completing an in-depth sorting, surveying, assessing of the papers and identification of those items that are in need of conservation and recommendation for appropriate storage. Funds are also being sought for an initial consultation with a conservator which will result in a report and estimate on any further conservation work, and towards conserving any items with loss or damage. This work is the first crucial step in enabling the Foundation to develop a comprehensive program according to the best archival practices, with the goal of preserving the documents for public access. A subsequent goal is the creation of a finding aid, printed copies of which will be available to visiting researchers. The aid will then be formatted and encoded according to the emerging national standard of EAD (encoded archival description) for enhanced online accessibility and searching. The finding aid will be available on the Foundation’s website ( Processing the current archives will make possible the eventual expansion of the archives through the acquisition of additional archival materials from outside donors. The preservation of the current materials is a critical step towards the Foundation becoming the prime resource for study on this important American artist. Beyond the value of these papers as original source material, many offer inestimable value as examples of Bearden’s artistic process; in the form of books and magazines from which he cut images for his collages, the
Part 11.
The following questions address the historical materials (type, quantity and storage) of the organization. 11a. Paper Files and Documents: 
Artist Files
Board Minutes
Exhibition or Production Files
Financial Records
Legal Documents
By-laws / Incorporation Documents
Other Paper Files
11b. Artwork and Documentation: 
Audiotapes [Any Format]
Oral History, Recordings and / or Transcripts
Other Audio Recordings (i.e. records, etc.)
Unique Art Objects
Other Artwork. Please describe below.
Poetry, music, autobiographical essays, essays on art in general and African-American art specific, sketchbooks, loose sketches, a written ballet manuscript and journals.
11c. Press and Promotional Materials: 
Announcements, Mailing Cards, etc.
Newspaper / Magazine / Media Clippings
Posters / Flyers
Other Press or Promotional Materials - Please describe below.
Exhibition invitations
11d. Printed Publications: 
Artists' Publications
Other Printed Publications - Please describe below.
Exhibition catalogs, Black Arts Association newsletters
11e. Other: 
Architectural Drawings / Floor Plan
Part 12.
12. What years does the materials cover?: 
Part 13.
13a. How is the material stored?: 
Other Boxes
Other - Please describe below.
Please describe: 
Archival housing, Acid-free boxes
13b. Are some or all of these storage units “archival”?: 
Part 14.
14a. Estimated Number of Boxes or Milk-Crate Sized Storage Units: 
1 - 10
14b. Estimated Number of Archive Drawers: 
14c. Estimated Number of Archive Notebooks: 
14d. Estimated the total Linear Feet. ["Linear Feet" is standard measure of the quantity of archival materials on the basis of shelf space occupied or the length of drawers in vertical files or the thickness of horizontally filed materials. For example, a: 
11 - 20
Part 15.
15. Is the historical materials - or archives - inventoried or catalogued in any way, either formally or otherwise?: 
Part 16.
16a. Is there a key, index or finding aid to the materials inventoried?: 
16b. Paper-based:: 
Not Applicable
16c. Electronic Based:: 
Not Applicable
Part 16 / Electronic Files & Archival Management
16f. Does the organization have a back-up program, or back-up schedule, for its electronic records and perform monitoring of its removable media (i.e. floppies, ZIP disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, portable hard drives, etc.)?: 
16g. Who is responsible for working with the archival material?: 
Hired Out
Other - Please describe below.
Please describe: 
Designated staff member
Part 17.
17. How are new materials processed?: 
We are not currently processing new material
No formal system for processing new materials currently exists
Part 18.
18. What, if any, conservation methods are in place for both physical materials and electronic data?: 
Controlled Access
Acid-Free Housing
Other - Please describe below.
Use gloves when handling archival materials. Use paper leafing process to separate pieces in need of conservation.
Part 19.
19. What type of climate-controls are present in the area[s] in which the archives are stored?: 
Standard office heating / air conditioning / humidity controls running during office hours
Part 20.
20a. What are the goals for the historical materials for the next year?: 
Evaluate the condition of the collection and stabilize it
20b. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these short-term goals?: 
20c. What goals are in place for the historical materials for the next three to five years?: 
Digitizing materials
20d. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these long term goals?: 
20e. Are there any additional goals for the organizations historic materials?: 
An online database for researchers
Part 21.
21. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next year.: 
$60,001 - $70,000
Part 22.
22. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next five years.: 
$150,001 - $200,000
Part 23.
23d. Other - Please describe below.: 
A conservation guide to assist in putting together a budget. Also, a directory of conservators and funding sources.
Part 24.
24. What archival issues could / should visual arts organizations address collectively in the next three to five years? Ranked from 1 (highest priority) to 5 (lowest priority).24a. Shared standards / protocols for digitization: 
Promote professional standards / protocols for digitization
24d. Other - Please describe below.: 
Steps to organizing archives
Part 25.
25a. Is the organization a member of, or in contact with, any organizations concerned with archival issues?: 
25b. Who?: 
Barbara Aikens - Archive of American Art, Smithsonian Institution Winthrop Group
Part 26.
26. Additional information, comments, observations, and questions.: 
As microfilm and microfiche become obsolete and digitization replaces them, how are organizations managing the cost?
Romare Bearden Foundation
Who executed this survey.: 
Pamela Ford, Program Director
Is this survey complete and all appropriate questions answered?: