Homer’s epic The Odyssey, where the Greek king Odysseus tries to return home after the Trojan war is over, acted like a source of inspiration for Bearden, who integrated his African-American heritage and culture into the Homeric work in an attempt to explain how every man is in search of his own way home. The exhibition includes collages and drawings depicting black people set in the Greek antiquity theme.
Curator of this new exhibition is Robert G. O’Meally, Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. According to SITES website, the latest publication of this prolific author, Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey, will be available for purchase at museum venues. An ambitious program of talks, panels, and performances that explore many of the themes raised by the exhibition is envisioned to accompany the exhibition at each location.