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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. 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 National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is presenting a retrospective of Romare Bearden’s life work and has borrowed this piece for their national exhibition of his work. The exhibition will tour around the country after it opens in September of 2003 in Washington, D.C. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will feature the retrospective in February of 2004. The exhibition will move on to the Dallas Museum of Art in June of 2004 and will conclude at the Whitney Museum of American Art in October of 2004. "The City and Its People" is of great importance to this exhibition due to its size, the fact that the artist worked on this artwork directly and due to the fact that the City of Berkeley has incorporated this mural into the fabric of its civic life.


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