Sunday Morning at Avila

Romare Bearden (American, 1911 – 1988)
Etching and aquatint
Plate : 18 1/4 x 14 in. (46.2 x 35.56 cm)
Sheet : 29 7/8 x 22 3/8 in. (75.88 x 56.83 cm)
Mat : 36 x 30 in. (91.44 x 76.2 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection
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Artist Romare Bearden was commissioned to create this print in 1981 to commemorate a special performance of Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s 1934 opera Four Saints in Three Acts. The opera was considered groundbreaking not only because of its avant-garde music and libretto, but because it was originally staged with an entirely Black cast, despite the story being set in 17th-century Spain and featuring a number of historical white saints. After its first production run in 1934, Four Saints in Three Acts was revived again several times in the 1940s and 50s. The 1981 performance for which this print was made was produced in celebration of composer Virgil Thomson’s 85th birthday.       

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