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Office of Economic Development
Office of Economic Development

Bearden large

 

Artist: Romare Bearden

Title: Berkeley - The City and Its People

Medium: collage of various papers with paint, ink, and graphite on seven fiberboard panels

Dimensions: 12.5’ tall x 16’ wide

Date of Construction: 1973

Location: Currently in storage after 30 years of display at Council Chambers

Press Releases:

"The City and Its People" was one of the first public art commissions of the renowned African-American artist, the late Romare Bearden. This mural is composed of collaged photographs arranged on areas of brightly colored paper and features many of Berkeley’s best-known sites. The Civic Arts Commission of the City of Berkeley commissioned this mural to be placed in the City Council chambers as an active and accessible part of the city and its civic life. In accordance with the placement of the mural in an open and well-used civic area, the logo of the City of Berkeley contains a multicultural design derived from a segment of this mural’s imagery. The mural is currently in storage for safety due to structural concerns related to the City Hall building which is no longer being used for City Council meetings. The artwork has been included in two major traveling museum exhibitions: a retrospective of Romare Bearden’s life work organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 2003 which toured nationally; and a retrospective of his work organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2004 which traveled from the SFMOMA to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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