The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of April 25, 2018

Open Door, 1979

color lithograph, . John L. Severance Fund 1994.84

Bearden transformed mundane scenes. Thus, a woman bathing in the background of Open Door symbolizes baptism, a ritual of spiritual purification and cleansing and a reminder of the importance of religion in African American culture. "You can come back to where you started from with added experience and you hope more understanding," Bearden said. "You leave and then return to the homeland of your imagination."
Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bearden was raised in Pittsburgh and New York City, but his family often visited the South. Nourished by his cultural heritage, Bearden depicted the 20th-century experiences of African Americans. "My roots are in North Carolina," he clarified. "I paint what people did when I was a boy."

The Cleveland Museum of Art (1/26/2014 - 5/18/2014); "Our Stories: African American Prints and Drawings"

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