On January 15, the Metropolitan Museum of Art brought out Romare Bearden’s vibrant The Block (1972) for a small exhibition drawn from the collection. Complementing the tableau are a series of sketches and drawings done by Bearden in preparation for the final piece. His work is an example of the cut-paper collages that he began making in the 1960s; The Block, and all its ambition, one of the works that established Bearden as the genres leader.
The eleven preliminary sketches are on view for the first time. The MET has mounted The Block in celebration of MLK Day (and a reminder to all in NY, the MET is open on this holiday Monday), and it will remain on display through February.
Also worth noting – The MET website has a wealth of information about The Block.