2011 44¢ Conjunction
Issue Date: September 28, 2011
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
Before the Civil War, slaves used quilts to preserve their history for the next generation. The sewn-on pictures, bold colors, and irregular patterns also reminded them of their African roots.
When freedom came, African Americans continued making warm quilts that were also works of art. Small pieces of fabric taken from worn clothes were lovingly sewn together to make something both useful and beautiful.
Romare Bearden’s Conjunction reflects his early childhood memories of rural Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. There he witnessed women coming together for conversation and support at quilting bees. The bright patterns and colors in Bearden’s collage are similar to the treasured quilts the women created, reflecting Bearden’s respect for his heritage.
Bearden’s Conjunction, honored on the 2011 stamp, combines fabric, crayon, and charcoal to create art that reflects his culture, helping the viewer better understand and appreciate his history. Through his collage portraying African- American scenes, Bearden shows there is a universal need to form close ties with the past and to be part of a community in the present.