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Neuberger Museum of Art Acquires Romare Bearden’s “River Mist”

A major addition to the collection

Tracy Fitzpatrick, Ph.D., Director of the Neuberger Museum of Art, has announced the Museum’s acquisition of Romare Bearden’s River Mist (ca. 1962) from the Romare Bearden Foundation, courtesy of DC Moore Gallery in New York City.

River Mist
is a striking abstract collage that combines oil on unprimed linen, and oil, casein, and colored pencil on canvas, cut, torn, and mounted on painted board.

Bearden is renowned for the collages and photomontages that established his reputation as a leading contemporary artist. Between 1952 and 1964, however, he created a large body of abstract watercolors, oil paintings, and collages that received little recognition; those works directly informed the collages for which Bearden is now best known.

River Mist is one of the objects created during that experimental period. It was on view at the Neuberger Museum in 2017 as part of the Romare Bearden: Abstractions exhibition curated by Dr. Fitzpatrick. The show is currently on a three-stop national tour organized by the American Federation of Arts that concludes in September 2022 after being on view at the Gibbes Museum, Charleston, SC; the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor; and the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA.

“The acquisition of River Mist is among the Neuberger Museum of Art’s most significant acquisitions,” stated Dr. Fitzpatrick. “It not only extends our holdings of work by Romare Bearden in the collection, but also represents our commitment to expanding the work that we do far beyond traditional canonical approaches to the histories of art.”

According to Diedra Harris-Kelley, Co-Director of the Romare Bearden Foundation, “We are so glad that the Neuberger Museum of Art will be the permanent home for River Mist. Their project, Romare Bearden: Abstraction, was the first major exhibition and publication to bring this body of work to light. At the Neuberger, River Mist will be enjoyed by generations to come.”

The work was purchased by the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art organization in honor of its recently retired chair, Susan Dubin, and her husband, James, in appreciation for their many years of leadership, counsel, and dedicated support. The Museum is proud to recognize the Dubins in this important way.


The Neuberger Museum of Art opened on the campus of Purchase College, State University of New York, in 1974 with a core collection donated by Roy R. Neuberger, one of the greatest private collectors, philanthropists, and arts advocates of the twentieth century. Today, critically acclaimed exhibitions, tours, lectures, and interactive programs for patrons of all ages make the Neuberger a center of teaching and learning for all stages of life.

The Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art was founded in 1972 as a separately incorporated 501(c)3 corporation that serves to support the Museum as part of Purchase College, SUNY. The support is both advisory and financial, enabling the Museum to steward its collection, produce exhibitions, and create programming. Art in the Friends Collection is for the exclusive use of the Museum and, by agreement, on permanent extended loan to the Museum which has control over that art and treats it the same way as art in the Permanent Collection.

Purchase College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) network of 64 universities and colleges, was founded in 1967 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. His aspiration for Purchase was to create a dynamic campus that combined conservatory training in the visual and performing arts with programs in the liberal arts and sciences, in order to inspire an appreciation for both intellectual and artistic talents in all students. Today, Purchase College, SUNY is a community of students, faculty, and friends where open-minded engagement with the creative process leads to a lifetime of intellectual growth and professional opportunity. 

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