The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
The multitalented, multifaceted American painter Romare Bearden (1912-1988)
could have become a physician or a mathematician, a political commentator,
a musician, a storyteller, a baseball pitcher, a philosopher, or a New York
City social worker. Instead, he became an artist. Perhaps in so doing, however,
he realized all of the possibilities. And perhaps it is not coincidental that
his preferred medium was collage, the pasting together or combining of various
shapes and materials onto a common background to form a unified whole. His
medium was his message in another sense as well: The collages tell the story
of the black experience in America throughout the 20th century. Reflecting
the diversity of cultures, Bearden's works are a mosaic of contemporary American
life. Up close, the separate pieces are difficult to interpret; in perspective,
a brilliant, shining picture emerges.
Southgate MT. New Orleans: Ragging Home. JAMA. 2003;289(19):2464. doi:10.1001/jama.289.19.2464