Noah, Third Day
The spiritual life of African American communities, both rural and urban, finds frequent expression in Bearden’s work. In this biblical scene from Noah and the Ark, Bearden imparts an intimate, folkloric quality through rhythmic patterning and flattened shapes. To make this collage, Bearden layered hand-colored copies of photographs, abstract cutouts, and references to African and early Christian art. Noah himself is shown in mask-like profile and with dark skin—signaling the inclusion of Black culture within Christian tradition.