Romare Bearden: My Friend
Join curator Jerald Melberg as he shares stories and anecdotes about his friend Romare Bearden. Melberg knew Bearden during the last 15 years or so of his life, and in many ways Bearden was like a grandfather to him. Of Bearden, Melberg says: “He was intimidatingly bright and knew well his status as an American artist although he never let it (or his ego) get in his way. He simply went to the studio every day and did what he did: make incredible, important art.”
This talk is presented in conjunction with BRAHM’s exhibition of Romare Bearden’s work (8/5/17-11/11/17).
About the Speaker
Jerald Melberg came to Charlotte in January 1977 to assume the position of Curator at the Mint Museum of Art. Over the next seven years, he was instrumental in taking the Museum from regional to national status by curating major exhibitions for artists Seymour Lipton, Larry Rivers, Robert DeNiro Sr. and Gaston LaChaise, among others. The major achievement of his tenure at the Museum was his organization of Romare Bearden 1970-1980. The exhibition honored one of Charlotte's greatest native sons and traveled to four other museums, bringing the national spotlight to Charlotte. In 2010 Melberg chaired the Romare Bearden Centennial Committee, organizing and coordinating activities surrounding the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth. He is currently in the final stages of writing the catalogue raisonné of Romare Bearden’s graphic work, a 300-page book which is scheduled to be published in the fall of 2018.
In 1983 Melberg opened the Charlotte gallery that bears his name. In the intervening 30 years, Jerald Melberg Gallery has come to be recognized internationally. Melberg continues to bring high caliber exhibitions to the city and has advised collectors and institutions worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Academy, the Mint Museum and the Esteban Vicente Museum in Segovia, Spain. He is also called upon by Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses to advise and authenticate works of art.
Melberg considers his most lasting and rewarding contribution to Charlotte to be his 28-year commitment to build and support both an elementary and technical high school in Arequipa, Peru, Charlotte's oldest sister city. Through his efforts he has raised over $200,000 toward school construction and education of children in the impoverished area of Arequipa. Melberg has, to date, made 26 trips to Arequipa, often taking groups of Charlotteans with him. He has gained the enthusiastic support of friends and clients who share his vision to provide the educational tools for a better life for thousands of children in Arequipa.
TAC Talks are sponsored by First Citizens Bank