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"Something Over Something Else": Romare Bearden’s Profile Series

February 28, 2020–June 21, 2020

Press Release

"Something Over Something Else": Romare Bearden’s Profile Series reunites for the first time thirty vibrant collages from this renowned series. In 1977, a "Profile" of Bearden by Calvin Tomkins in the New Yorker provoked the artist to reflect upon his childhood and maturity during the 1920s and 30s. The result was a two-part series that traces his journey from rural Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, to working-class Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and culminates with his treasured first studio in Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood.

Yet transcending autobiography, Bearden’s Profile Series, accompanied by evocative texts co-written by Bearden and his friend the author Albert Murray, expresses a deep reverence for humanity and the struggles and triumphs of African Americans.



Enjoy the "Something Over Something Else" from Home

Take a look inside the exhibition...

Listen and Learn

Cincinnati Art Museum’s Russell Ihrig sits down with museum Docent Julie Willis to discuss Mecklenberg County and Maudell Sleet’s Magic Garden by Romare Bearden.



Watch and Enjoy

Take a ’virtual tour’ inside the exhibition.

Continue Exploring...

Visit the Romare Bearden Foundation Online

This site offers a wide range of resources and information on the art and life of preeminent African-American artist Romare Bearden. Learn more

The Art of Romare Bearden

A Resource for Teachers | Learn more


"Something Over Something Else" in the news


A Special Opportunity To See The Cincinnati Art Museum's New Romare Bearden Exhibit

Who was Romare Bearden and what will visitors see during their visit?

WVXU | Feb. 21, 2020 | Read More


‘Something Over Something Else: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series’ Review: Bright Reflections

Inspired by a magazine profile, the artist created a two-part series of collage-paintings documenting his childhood in North Carolina and experiences as a young artist in Harlem.

The Wall Street Journal | November 26, 2019 | Read More


A Rare Self Portrait of Romare Bearden: September Collection Highlight at the High

What can we learn about Bearden’s process and influences just by looking at this work? As it turns out, a lot.

The High Museum of Art Atlanta | Sep. 24, 2019 | Read More



This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support is provided by the Andrew Wyeth Foundation for American Art.

National Endowment for the Arts   WFAA

Generously supported by:

Eric & Jan-Michele Kearney