Romare Bearden (American, Charlotte, North Carolina 1911–1988 New York)
Wool and cotton
61 1/4 × 79 1/4 in. (155.6 × 201.3 cm)
Gift of Gloria F. Ross, 1996
Not on view
This tapestry (one of only three the artist designed) was a collaborative effort between Bearden, who created the composition as a small collage maquette and set the yarn colors, and Gloria F. Ross, a tapestry maker who translated the image into a textile medium. As the title suggests, Recollection Pond is based on Bearden's memories of the North Carolina landscape of his youth and of the island of Martinique, where he built a home in 1973. Although the genesis of his bathing women can be found in his depictions of the South from the 1960s to the early 1970s, the tapestry's bright blue color scheme, tropical foliage and wildlife, more aptly describe the exoticism of the Caribbean. Acquired in 1996, the tapestry is on view at the Museum for the first time, along with its preliminary collage study.