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The Art of JAMA
December 10, 2014

The Piano Lesson (Homage to Mary Lou)Romare Bearden

JAMA. 2014;312(22):2322-2323. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.279881

In 1956, the American artist Romare Bearden (1911-1988) was at a crossroads in his career. He had almost given up painting, but his interest in art had been rekindled by a series of discussions with a Chinese American calligrapher named Mr Wu, who operated a bookstore near Bearden’s home studio in New York City. In one of these encounters Wu explained how Chinese landscape painters would leave a section of the canvas unfinished to encourage viewers to use their imaginations. (Schwartzman M. Romare Bearden: His Life and Art. New York, NY: Harry N Abrams; 1990.)

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