Aaron Copland was an American composer, composition teacher, and a conductor of his own and other American music. Copland was referred to by his peers and critics as the Dean of American Composers, the open, slowly changing harmonies in much of his music are typical of what many people consider to be the sound of American music, evoking the vast American landscape and pioneer spirit. He is best known for the works he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s in an accessible style often referred to as populist. Works in this include the ballets Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid and Rodeo, his Fanfare for the Common Man. In addition to his ballets and orchestral works, he produced music in other genres including chamber music, vocal works, opera. After some initial studies with composer Rubin Goldmark, Copland traveled to Paris and he studied three years with Boulanger, whose eclectic approach to music inspired his own broad taste. Determined upon his return to the U. S. to make his way as a composer, Copland gave lecture-recitals, wrote works on commission.
He found composing orchestral music in the modernist style he had adapted abroad a financially contradictory approach and he shifted in the mid-1930s to a more accessible musical style which mirrored the German idea of Gebrauchsmusik, music that could serve utilitarian and artistic purposes. During the Depression years, he traveled extensively to Europe, during the late 1940s, Copland became aware that Stravinsky and other fellow composers had begun to study Arnold Schoenbergs use of twelve-tone techniques. After he had exposed to the works of French composer Pierre Boulez, he incorporated serial techniques into his Piano Quartet, Piano Fantasy, Connotations for orchestra. From the 1960s onward, Coplands activities turned more from composing to conducting and he became a frequent guest conductor of orchestras in the U. S. and the UK and made a series of recordings of his music, primarily for Columbia Records. Aaron Copland was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 14,1900 and he was the youngest of five children in a Conservative Jewish family of Lithuanian origins.
While emigrating from Russia to the United States, Coplands father, Harris Morris Copland, Copland was however unaware until late in his life that the family name had been Kaplan, and his parents never told him this. His father was a staunch Democrat, the family members were active in Congregation Baith Israel Anshei Emes, where Aaron celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. Not especially athletic, the young man became an avid reader. Coplands father had no musical interest and his mother, Sarah Mittenthal Copland, played the piano, and arranged for music lessons for her children. Of his siblings, oldest brother Ralph was the most advanced musically and his sister Laurine had the strongest connection with Aaron, she gave him his first piano lessons, promoted his musical education, and supported him in his musical career. A student at the Metropolitan Opera School and a frequent opera-goer, Copland attended Boys High School and in the summer went to various camps
Bennett Lester Benny Carter was an American jazz alto saxophonist, trumpeter, composer and bandleader. He was a figure in jazz from the 1930s to the 1990s. Carter performed with artists from several generations of jazz, and at major festivals. The National Endowment for the Arts honored Benny Carter with its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award for 1986. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987, in 2000 he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts, National Medal of Arts, presented by President Bill Clinton. Born in New York City in 1907, the youngest of six children, largely self-taught, by age fifteen, Carter was already sitting in at Harlem night spots. From 1924 to 1928, Carter gained professional experience as a sideman in some of New Yorks most prominent bands, as a youth, Carter lived in Harlem around the corner from Bubber Miley, who was Duke Ellingtons featured trumpeter. Carter was inspired by Miley and bought a trumpet, but when he found he couldnt play like Miley, Duke Ellington, and their respective groups.
He first recorded in 1928 with Charlie Johnsons Orchestra, arranging the titles recorded, Carters arrangements were sophisticated and very complex, and a number of them became swing standards which were performed by other bands. He arranged for Duke Ellington during these years, Carter was noted for his arrangements. By the early 1930s he and Johnny Hodges were considered the leading players of the day. Carter quickly became a leading trumpet soloist, having rediscovered the instrument and he recorded extensively on trumpet in the 1930s. Carters name first appeared on records with a 1932 Crown label release of Tell All Your Day Dreams to Me credited to Bennie Carter, Carters short-lived Orchestra played the Harlem Club in New York but only recorded a handful of records for Columbia, OKeh and Vocalion. The OKeh sides were issued under the name Chocolate Dandies and his trumpet solo on the October 1933 recording of Once Upon A Time by the Chocolate Dandies has long been considered a milestone solo achievement.
These 14 sides plus four by Carters big band were only issued in England at the time, originally titled Spike Hughes, the musicians were mainly made up from members of Carters band. Two recordings that typify his sound are 1937s Honeysuckle Rose, recorded with Django Reinhardt and Coleman Hawkins in Europe, returning home in 1938, he quickly formed another orchestra, which spent much of 1939 and 1940 at Harlems famed Savoy Ballroom. His arrangements were much in demand and were featured on recordings by Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa and he relocated to Los Angeles in 1943, and moved increasingly into studio work. Beginning with Stormy Weather in 1943, he arranged for dozens of feature films and television productions
Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso, known by her stage name Celia Cruz, was a Cuban singer of Latin music. She was known for electrifying audiences with her voice and rhythmically compelling style. She was the most popular Latin artist of the 20th century and she was renowned internationally as the Queen of Salsa, La Guarachera de Cuba, as well as The Queen of Latin Music. She spent much of her working in the United States. Leila Cobo of Billboard Magazine once said Cruz is indisputably the best known and most influential figure in the history of Cuban. She was an ambassador for the variety and vitality of the music of her native Havana, Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso was born on October 21,1925 in the diverse, working-class neighborhood of Santos Suárez in Havana, the second of four children. Her father, Simon Cruz, was a stoker and her mother. Celia was one of the eldest among fourteen children- brothers, despite her fathers opposition and the fact that she was Catholic, as a child Cruz learned santería songs from her neighbor who practiced santería.
As a teenager, her aunt took her and her cousin to cabarets to sing, after high school she attended the Normal School for Teachers in Havana with the intent of becoming a literature teacher. At the time being a singer was not viewed as a respectable career. However, one of her teachers told her that as an entertainer she could earn in one day what most Cuban teachers earned in a month, from 1947, Cruz studied music theory and piano at Havanas National Conservatory of Music. She often won cakes and opportunities to participate in more contests and her first recordings were made in 1948 in Venezuela. Her big break came in 1950 when Myrta Silva, the singer with Cubas Conjunto Sonora Matancera, since they were in need of a new singer, the band decided to give the young Celia Cruz a chance. Here, she won the support of Sonoras band leader, Rogelio Martinez, soon her name was bigger than the bands. When Fidel Castro assumed control of Cuba in 1959, Cruz and her husband, Pedro Knight, were prohibited from returning to their homeland, in 1966, Cruz and Tito Puente began an association that would lead to eight albums for Tico Records.
The albums were not as successful as expected, however and Cruz joined the Vaya Records label. There, she joined accomplished pianist Larry Harlow and was soon headlining a concert at New Yorks Carnegie Hall, in Celia y Johnny Quimbera became one of her signature songs. With the Fania All-Stars, Cruz had the opportunity to visit England, Zaire, in the late 1970s, she participated in an Eastern Air Lines commercial in Puerto Rico, singing the catchy phrase ¡Esto sí es volar
Herb Alpert is an American musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Herb Alperts Tijuana Brass, or TJB. Alpert is an industry executive, the A of A&M Records. Alpert has created abstract expressionist paintings and sculpture over two decades, which are displayed on occasion. Alpert and wife, Lani Hall, are substantial philanthropists through the operation of the Herb Alpert Foundation, Alperts musical accomplishments include five No.1 albums and 28 albums total on the Billboard Album chart, nine Grammy Awards, fourteen platinum albums, and fifteen gold albums. Alpert has sold 72 million records worldwide, Alpert is the only recording artist to hit No.1 on the U. S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as both a vocalist, and an instrumentalist. Herb Alpert was born and raised in the Boyle Heights section of Eastside Los Angeles and his family was Jewish, and had come to the U. S. from Radomyshl and Romania. His father, although a tailor by trade, was a mandolin player.
His mother taught violin at a young age and his older brother David was a talented young drummer. Alpert himself began trumpet lessons at the age of eight and played at dances as a teenager, acquiring an early wire recorder in high school, he experimented on this crude equipment. After graduating from Fairfax High School in 1952, he joined the United States Army, after his service in the Army, Alpert tried his hand at acting, but eventually settled on pursuing a career in music. While attending the University of Southern California in the 1950s, he was a member of the USC Trojan Marching Band for two years, in 1956, he appeared in the uncredited role Drummer on Mt. Sinai in the film The Ten Commandments. In 1962, he had a part in a scene in the film Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation where he played in a dance band. In 1957 Alpert teamed up with Rob Weerts, another burgeoning lyricist, a number of songs written or co-written by Alpert during the following two years became Top 20 hits, including Baby Talk by Jan and Dean and Wonderful World by Sam Cooke.
In 1960, Alpert began his career as a vocalist at Dot Records under the name of Dore Alpert. Tell It to the Birds was recorded as the first release on the Alpert & Moss label Carnival Records, when Alpert and Moss found that there was prior usage of the Carnival name, they renamed the label A&M Records. Alpert set up a recording studio in his garage and had been overdubbing a tune called Twinkle Star, written by Sol Lake. During a visit to Tijuana, Alpert happened to hear a band while attending a bullfight. Alpert adapted the style to the tune, mixed in crowd cheers and other noises for ambience
Pietro Belluschi was an Italian-born American architect, a leader of the Modern Movement in architecture, and was responsible for the design of over 1,000 buildings. Born in Italy, Belluschis architectural career began as a draftsman in a Portland, Oregon and he achieved a national reputation within about 20 years, largely for his 1947 aluminum-clad Equitable Building. He won the 1972 AIA Gold Medal, pietro Belluschi was born in Ancona, Italy, in 1899. He grew up in Italy and served in the Italian armed forces during World War I when Italy was allied with Great Britain, serving in the army he fought against the Austrians at the battles of Caporetto and Vittorio Veneto. After the war, Belluschi studied at the University of Rome and he moved to the United States in 1923, despite speaking no English, and finished his education—as an exchange student on a scholarship—at Cornell University with a second degree in civil engineering. Instead of returning to Italy, he worked briefly as an engineer in Idaho earning $5 per day.
He remained in the U. S. as friends in Italy had cautioned him to not return home because of the rise to power of Benito Mussolini, at Doyles office, Belluschi rose rapidly, soon becoming chief designer. After Doyle died in 1928, the firm took him into partnership in 1933, by 1943, Belluschi had assumed control of the firm by buying out all the other partners and was practicing under his own name. In 1951, Belluschi became Dean of the architecture and planning school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, when he accepted the position of dean and moved to Massachusetts, he transferred his office in Portland to the architecture firm Skidmore and Merrill. The move reduced his income from $150,000 to a salary of $15,000. Belluschis churches and residences differed from his commercial works, Belluschi was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1952. In 1953, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member and he served as a presidential appointee on the U. S.
Commission of Fine Arts from 1950 to 1955 and he was a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects, and was awarded the AIA Gold Medal, the highest award given by the institute, in 1972. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1991 for his lifetime achievements, Belluschi was on the jury that selected the winning design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D. C. After leaving MIT in 1965, he continued to work, Belluschi would design and consult on both buildings and issues surrounding urban planning. Pietro Belluschi was married first to Helen Hemmila on December 1,1934, after her death in 1962, he married in 1965 Marjorie or Margaret. Pietro Belluschi died in Portland on February 14,1994
Edward Franklin Albee III was an American playwright known for works such as The Zoo Story, The Sandbox, Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf. and A Delicate Balance. Three of his plays won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and his works are often considered as frank examinations of the modern condition. His early works reflect a mastery and Americanization of the Theatre of the Absurd that found its peak in works by European playwrights such as Samuel Beckett, Eugène Ionesco and his middle period comprised plays that explored the psychology of maturing and sexual relationships. Younger American playwrights, such as Paula Vogel, credit Albees daring mix of theatricality, in his life, Albee continued to experiment in works such as The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia. Edward Albee was born in 1928 and he was placed for adoption two weeks and taken to Larchmont in Westchester County, New York, where he grew up. Albees adoptive father, Reed A. Albee, the son of vaudeville magnate Edward Franklin Albee II. His adoptive mother, Reeds third wife, was a socialite and he would base the main character of his 1991 play Three Tall Women on his mother, with whom he had a conflicted relationship.
Albee attended the Clinton High School, the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and he was sent to Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, where he was dismissed in less than a year. He enrolled at The Choate School in Wallingford, graduating in 1946 and his formal education continued at Trinity College in Hartford, where he was expelled in 1947 for skipping classes and refusing to attend compulsory chapel. Albee left home for good when he was in his late teens, in a interview, he said, I never felt comfortable with the adoptive parents. I dont think knew how to be parents. I probably didnt know how to be a son, either, in a 1994 interview, he stated that he left home at age 18 because had to get out of that stultifying, suffocating environment. In a 2008 interview, he told interviewer Charlie Rose that he was out because his parents wanted him to become a corporate thug. Albee moved into New Yorks Greenwich Village, where he supported himself with odd jobs while learning to write plays and his first play, The Zoo Story, which was written in three weeks, was first staged in Berlin in 1959 before eventually premiering Off-Broadway in 1960.
His next play, The Death of Bessie Smith, similarly premiered in Berlin before arriving in New York. Albees most iconic play, Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf. opened on Broadway at the Billy Rose Theatre on October 13,1962, the two members of the jury, John Mason Brown and John Gassner, subsequently resigned in protest. An Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the play was released in 1966 starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal. In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being culturally, according to the New York Times, Albee was widely considered to be the foremost American playwright of his generation
Olivia de Havilland
Olivia Mary de Havilland is a retired American actress whose career spanned from 1935 to 1990. She appeared in 49 feature films, and was one of the movie stars during the golden age of Classical Hollywood. Born in Tokyo to British parents, de Havilland and her younger sister Joan moved to California in 1919 and they were brought up by their mother Lilian, a former stage actress who taught them dramatic art and elocution. De Havilland made her debut in amateur theatre in Alice in Wonderland. Olivia de Havilland made her debut in Reinhardts A Midsummer Nights Dream in 1935. She began her career playing demure ingénues opposite popular leading men, including Errol Flynn and they became one of Hollywoods most popular romantic on-screen pairings. She achieved her initial popularity in romantic films, such as The Great Garrick. Her natural beauty and refined acting style made her particularly effective in historical dramas, such as Anthony Adverse. In her career, she was most successful in films, such as Light in the Piazza.
In addition to her career, de Havilland continued her work in the theatre. For her contributions to the picture industry, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After romantic relationships with Howard Hughes, James Stewart, and John Huston, de Havilland married author Marcus Goodrich, with whom she had a son, Benjamin. Following her divorce from Goodrich in 1953, she moved to Paris and married Pierre Galante, in 1962, she published Every Frenchman Has One, an account of her life in France. De Havilland and Joan Fontaine are the siblings to have won Academy Awards in a lead acting category. A lifelong rivalry between the two resulted in an estrangement that lasted over three decades. She has lived in Paris since 1956, and celebrated her 100th birthday on July 1,2016, De Havilland was born on July 1,1916, in Tokyo, Japan, to English parents. Her father, Walter de Havilland, served as an English professor at the Imperial University in Tokyo before becoming a patent attorney and her mother, Lilian Fontaine, was educated at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and became a stage actress.
Lilian sang with the Master of the Kings Music, Sir Walter Parratt, Olivias paternal cousin was Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, an aircraft designer and founder of the de Havilland aircraft company
Willem de Kooning
Willem de Kooning was a Dutch-American abstract expressionist artist who was born in Rotterdam and moved to New York in 1927. Willem de Kooning was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on April 24,1904 and his parents, Leendert de Kooning and Cornelia Nobel, were divorced in 1907, and de Kooning lived first with his father and with his mother. He left school in 1916 and became an apprentice in a firm of commercial artists, until 1924 he attended evening classes at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten en Technische Wetenschappen, now the Willem de Kooning Academie. In 1926 de Kooning travelled to the United States as a stowaway on the Shelley, a British freighter bound for Argentina and he stayed at the Dutch Seamens Home in Hoboken, New Jersey, and found work as a house-painter. In 1927 he moved to Manhattan, where he had a studio on West Forty-fourth Street and he supported himself with jobs in carpentry, house-painting and commercial art. De Kooning began painting in his time and in 1928 he joined the art colony at Woodstock.
He began to some of the modernist artists active in Manhattan. None of them were executed, but a sketch for one was included in New Horizons in American Art at the Museum of Modern Art, De Kooning met his wife, Elaine Fried, at the American Artists School in New York. She was 14 years his junior, thus was to begin a lifelong partnership affected by alcoholism, lack of money, love affairs and separations. They were married on December 9,1943, at this time, de Koonings work borrowed strongly from Gorkys surrealist imagery and was influenced by Picasso. This only changed when de Kooning met the younger painter Franz Kline, Kline died young and he was one of de Koonings closest artist friends. Klines influence is evident in de Koonings calligraphic black images of this period, in the late 1950s, de Koonings work shifted away from the figurative work of the women and began to display an interest in more abstract, less representational imagery. He became a US citizen in 1961 and moved to East Hampton in 1963 and this became his primary residence and he remained there until the end of his life.
On Long Island de Kooning, in addition to his painting, inspired in part by the work of Henry Moore, de Kooning created highly abstracted figurative sculpture very reminicent of his figurative paintings. It was revealed toward the end of his life that de Kooning began losing his memory in the late 1980s and had been suffering from Alzheimers disease for some time. This revelation has initiated considerable debate among scholars and critics about how responsible de Kooning was for the creation of his late work, succumbing to the progress of his disease, William de Kooning painted his final works in 1991. He passed away in 1997 at the age of 92, upon death William de Kooning was cremated. His final place of rest is publicly unknown, De Koonings paintings of the 1930s and early 1940s are abstract still-lifes characterised by geometric or biomorphic shapes and strong colours
Louise Joséphine Bourgeois was a French-American artist. Best known for her sculpture and installation art, Bourgeois was a prolific painter and printmaker. She explored a variety of themes over the course of her career including domesticity and the family and the body, as well as death. Although Bourgeois exhibited with the Abstract Expressionists and her work has much in common with Surrealism and Feminist art, Bourgeois was born on 25 December 1911 in Paris, France. She was the child of three born to parents Josephine Fauriaux and Louis Bourgeois. She had a sister and a younger brother. Her parents owned a gallery that dealt primarily in antique tapestries, the lower part of the tapestries were always damaged which was usually the characters’ feet and animals’ paws. Many of Bourgeois’ work have extremely fragile and frail feet which could be a result of the former, by 1924 her father, a tyrannical philanderer, was indulging in an extended affair with her English teacher and nanny. According to Bourgeois, her mother, Josephine, “an intelligent and enduring, if not calculating, person, ” was aware of her husbands infidelity, Bourgeois, an alert little girl, hoarded her memories in her diaries.
As a result she wished to execute manipulation in a similar manner and her father’s affair became the weapon in this revenge. Sculptures enables one to overcome the problem by displacing it, which allows the freedom to do what good manners forbade the child to do. As a child, Bourgeois did not meet her fathers expectations due to her lack of ability. Eventually, he came to adore her for her talent and spirit, but she continued to him for his explosive temper, domination of the household. Her mother died in 1932, while Bourgeois was studying mathematics and her mothers death inspired her to abandon mathematics and to begin studying art. Her father thought modern artists were wastrels and refused to support her and she continued to study art by joining classes where translators were needed for English-speaking students, in which those translators were not charged tuition. In one such class Fernand Léger saw her work and told her she was a sculptor, during the time in which she was enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts, she turned to her fathers infidelities for inspiration.
She discovered her creative impulse in her childhood traumas and tensions, Bourgeois had a desire for first-hand experience, and frequently visited studios in Paris, learning techniques from the artists and assisting with exhibitions. Bourgeois briefly opened a print store beside her fathers tapestry workshop and her father helped her on the grounds that she had entered into a commerce-driven profession
Brooke Astor was the author of two novels and two volumes of personal memoirs. Brooke was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the child of John Henry Russell, Jr. the 16th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Her paternal grandfather John Henry Russell, Sr. was an admiral in the U. S. Navy. She was named for her grandmother and was known as Bobby to close friends. Due to her fathers career, she spent much of her living in China, the Dominican Republic, Haiti. Also, she briefly attended The Madeira School in 1919 but graduated from the Holton-Arms School in Washington and she married her first husband, John Dryden Kuser, shortly after her 17th birthday, on April 26,1919, in Washington, D. C. I certainly wouldnt advise getting married that young to anyone, she said in life, at the age of sixteen, youre not jelled yet. The first thing you look at, you fall in love with, John was the son of the financier and conservationist Anthony Rudolph Kuser and Susie Fairfield Drydan. John Kuser became a New Jersey Republican councilman and they lived in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
Brooke described her tumultuous first marriage as the Worst years of my life, which was punctuated by her husbands alleged physical abuse and adultery. According to Frances Kiernans 2007 biography of Brooke Astor, when Brooke was six months pregnant with the only child. I learned about terrible manners from the family of my first husband and they didnt know how to treat people. Brooke and John had one son, Anthony Dryden Tony Kuser and she filed for divorce February 15,1930, in Reno, Nevada. It was finalized that year, John married his second wife, Vieva Marie Fisher Banks September 6,1930, in Virginia City, Nevada. They had one daughter, Suzanne Dryden Kuser, and divorced in October 1935, a week later, Sen. Kuser married Louise Mattei Farry. In 1958, he married, as his wife, Grace Egglesfield Gibbons. An amateur ornithologist and president of the New Jersey Audubon Society and her second husband, whom she married in 1932, was Charles Henry Buddy Marshall. Astor wrote that the marriage was a love match
Romare Bearden was an Afro-American artist. He worked with many types of media including cartoons, born in Charlotte, North Carolina, educated in Pittsburgh, Bearden moved to New York City after high school and went on to graduate from NYU in 1935. He began his career creating scenes of the American South. Later, he endeavored to express the humanity he felt was lacking in the world after his experience in the US Army during World War II on the European front and he returned to Paris in 1950 and studied Art History and Philosophy at the Sorbonne in 1950. Beardens early work focused on unity and cooperation within the African-American community and his lifelong support of young, emerging artists led him and his wife to create the Bearden Foundation to support young or emerging artists and scholars. In 1987, Bearden was awarded the National Medal of Arts and his work in collage led the New York Times to describe Bearden as “the nations foremost collagist” in his 1988 obituary. Bearden was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and his family moved him to New York City as a toddler, and their household soon became a meeting place for major figures of the Harlem Renaissance.
His mother, Bessye Bearden, played a role with New York Citys Board of Education. Bessye Bearden was a New York correspondent for The Chicago Defender, young Romare Bearden traveled frequently, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and to visit family members in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1929 he graduated from Peabody High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and he enrolled in Lincoln University, the nations first Historically Black College and University founded in 1854. He transferred to Boston University where he served as art director for Beanpot, Bearden studied art, education and mathematics, graduating with a degree in science and education in 1935. He continued his study under German artist George Grosz at the Art Students League in 1936 and 1937. During this period he supported himself as a political cartoonist for African-American newspapers, including the Baltimore Afro-American, Bearden grew as an artist not by learning how to create new techniques and mediums, but by his life experiences.
His early paintings were often of scenes in the American South, in 1935, Bearden became a case worker for the Harlem office of the New York City Department of Social Services. Throughout his career as an artist, Bearden worked as a case worker off, during World War II, Bearden joined the United States Army, serving from 1942 until 1945. After serving in the army, Bearden joined the Samuel Kootz Gallery, a commercial gallery in New York. He would return to Europe in 1950 to study philosophy with Gaston Bachelard, Bearden traveled throughout Europe visiting Picasso and other artists. This completely changed his style of art as he started producing abstract representations of what he deemed as human and his works were exhibited at the Samuel M. Kootz gallery until his work was deemed not abstract enough