Love this color video of friends-artist Romare Bearden&writer Albert Murray talking art on a Harlem terrace in 1981. http://t.co/B4u3Zl5T4z
— Philip Turner (@philipsturner) November 4, 2013
The important African-American artist Romare Bearden was at one time good friends with my late author, Edward Robb Ellis, author of A Diary of the Century: Tales from American’s Greatest Diarist (1995). Ellis wrote at length about their friendship in that book, which reflected on Bearden’s upbringing in Pittsburgh, and the life he lived that led to his distinctive style of collage-making and painting. In the years since I worked with Eddie, whenever I read about Bearden, I feel I almost know him, from Eddie’s fulsome recollections. When the writer and critic Albert Murray died last August, he was eulogized in many venues, most memorably for me by Paul Devlin in Slate, where I was delighted to be reminded that Bearden and Murray had also been very close, as friends, and indeed as frequent collaborators (when Bearden needed something written, Murray often wrote it). Typifying their relationship is the revealing video I tweeted out earlier tonight, and which I’m eager to share here, too.