An Immortal Reflection Of Bessie Smith, In Feeling And Form

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Romare Bearden, Empress of the Blues.

Precision isn’t the word most associated with the blues, but Romare Bearden’s 1974 collage depicts Bessie Smith in a way that illuminates her expressiveness and her high level of artistic control.

(Image credit: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase in part through the Luisita L. and Frank H. Denghausen Endowment)