The Prevalence of Ritual: Baptism


Romare H. Bearden, American, b. Charlotte, North Carolina, 1912–1988

Collage of printed papers, paint, and graphite pencil on board, 9 1/8 x 12 in. (23.2 x 30.5 cm)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

Accession Number: 66.410

Cordier & Ekstrom Gallery, New York, to 19 November 1964
Joseph H. Hirshhorn, New York, 19 November 1964-17 May 1966
Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1966

Exhibition History:
CORDIER & EKSTROM GALLERY, New York. "Romare Bearden Projections," 6-24 October 1964, no. 12, ill.
ART GALLERY, STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, Albany. "Romare Bearden: Paintings and Projections," 25 November-22 December 1968, no. 6, ill.
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, New York. "Romare Bearden: The Prevalence of Ritual," 25 March-7 June 1971, no. 9, colorplate, p. 6. TOUR: NATIONAL COLLECTION OF FINE ARTS, Washington, DC, 16 July-12 September; UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, Berkeley, 25 October-5 December; PASADENA ART MUSEUM, California, 20 December 1971-30 January 1972.
HIRSHHORN MUSEUM AND SCULPTURE GARDEN, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. "Inaugural Exhibition," 4 October 1974-15 September 1975, ill. 799, p. 536, p. 663.
INDIANAPOLIS MUSEUM OF ART. "Perceptions of the Spirit in Twentieth Century American Art," 20 September-27 November 1977, no. 52, pp. 23, 96, ill. p. 97. TOUR: UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, Berkeley, 20 December-12 February 1978; MARION KOOGLER MCNAY ART INSTITUTE, San Antonio, 5 March-16 April; COLUMBUS GALLERY OF FINE ARTS, Ohio, 10 May-19 June.
ALEXANDRIA MUSEUM VISUAL ART CENTER, Louisiana. "The Rhythm of Life: Selected Works by Bearden, Gwathmey, and Lawrence," 25 January-30 March 1984. Tour: GREATER LAFAYETTE MUSEUM OF ART, Indiana, 7 April-15 June.
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, New York. "Primitivism in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern," 19 September 1984-15 January 1985. TOUR: DETROIT INSTITUTE OF ARTS, 23 February-19 May 1985; DALLAS MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, 15 June-8 September 1985.
SMITHSONIAN CASTLE BUILDING, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. "Castle Exhibition I," 27 March-27 September 1986, no cat.
NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, Washington, DC. "The Art of Romare Bearden," 14 September 2003-4 January 2004. Tour: SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, 7 February-16 May; DALLAS MUSEUM OF ART, 20 June-12 September (San Francisco venue only).
TATE LIVERPOOL. "Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic," 29 January-25 April 2010.

Published References:
ASHTON, DORE. "Romare Bearden Projections," Quandrum 17 (1964), p. 101, ill.
FINE, ELSA H. The Afro-American Artist: A Search for Identity (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973), colorplate 18, p. 164.
WASHINGTON, M. BUNCH. The Art of Romare Bearden: The Prevalence of Ritual (New York: Abrams, 1973), colorplate 7.
LERNER, ABRAM, et al. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1974), ill. 799, p. 536, p. 663.
FUNDABURK, EMMA LILIA and MARY DOUGLASS FOREMAN. Art in the Environment in the United States (Luverne, Alabama: Emma Lila Fundaburk, 1975), ill. 295.
LEWIS, SAMELLA. Art: African American (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978), p. 117, ill. no. 96, p. 116.
SELZ, PETER. Pictorial History of Modern Art (New York: Abrams, 1979), ill.
TROOP, MIRIAM. A Panorama of American Art (New York: Doubleday & Company, 1979), ill.
CLEAVER, DALE G. Art: An Introduction, 4th ed. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovick, c1984), fig. 19-70. [5th edition: fig. 19-14, p. 377.]
DILLENBERGER, JOHN. The Visual Arts and Christianity in America (New York: Crossroad, c1985?), plate 168.
UNSIGNED. World History: Traditions and New Directions (Menlo Park, California: Addison-Wesley), unit nine, ill.
RUSSELL, STELLA PANDELL. Art in the World, 3rd ed. (Chicago: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1989), fig. 43, p. 33.
DUPRE, LOUIS, and DON E. SALIERS, eds. Christian Spirituality (New York: Crossroad, 1989), fig. 16, p. 393.
UNSIGNED. "What Becomes a Legend?," Transition 55 (1992), ill. p. 65.
NEMETT, BARRY. Images, Objects, and Ideas (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992), ill. 196, p. 154.
NEWLIN, JON. "How to Improve the Art in the Capitol," Roll Call (8 April 1993), ill. p. 36.
CUNNINGHAM, LAWRENCE, S. and JOHN J. REICH. Culture and Values, vol. 11, 3rd ed. (New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1994), fig. 18.15, p. 462.
CRAVEN, WAYNE. American Art: History and Culture (Madison, Wisconsin: Brown & Benchmark, 1994), fig. 36.8, p. 551.
UNSIGNED. "The Harvard Guide to African-American History," Humanities 15 (May/June 1994), ill. p. 19.
FELDMAN, EDMUND BURKE. The Artist: A Social History, 2nd ed. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1995), ill. p. 217.
LEWIS, RICHARD and SUSAN I. LEWIS. The Power of Art (New York: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1995), fig. 4-11, p. 83.
CRUZ, AMADA. "Romare Bearden," in Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: 150 Works of Art (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996), p. 114, ill.
JANSON, H.W. and ANTHONY F. JANSON. History of Art for Young People, 5th ed. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1997), no. 487, p. 541.
MATTHEWS, ROY T. and F. DEWITT PLATT. The Western Humanities, 3rd ed. (Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Company, 1997), fig. 21.11, p. 557.
MERCER, KOBENA, ed. Cosmopolitan Modernisms (London: Institute of International Visual Arts/Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2005), ill. pp. 136-137.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Collection, African-American Figuration