Romare Bearden (American, 1911 – 1988)
DimensionsMat : 30 x 24 in. (76.2 x 60.96 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelToni Morrison (1931-2019) was a groundbreaking African American writer who ranks among America’s most celebrated authors. Some of her major awards include the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977; the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988; the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993; the National Book Foundation Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1996; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. This print depicts the character Pilate from Morrison’s 1977 novel The Song of Solomon, which first brought Morrison to national attention. Although the novel is set in Michigan, Pilate is shown here wearing West African or Caribbean dress, suggesting a connection between Pilate and the traditions of wise women in those cultures. The print was created by artist Romare Bearden as a tribute to Morrison, who was a close personal friend. The style of the print mimics the collage pieces for which Bearden is best known.