@Curate Reynolda

Reynolda House Museum of American Art

World-renowned poet, Nikki Giovanni visits “Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey” at Reynolda House


In December, world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator Nikki Giovanni led a group of Virginia Tech students to Reynolda House Museum of American Art to see Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey, on view now through January 13, 2013 in Winston-Salem, NC.

Professor Giovanni relayed that the Museum’s billboard for A Black Odyssey on Business 40 inspired her first visit to the Museum. She found the exhibition so compelling that she returned twice.  

On her last visit, she brought a bus of 30 students from varying disciplines of the university. Phil Archer, the Museum’s Director of Public Programs and Allison Slaby, Reynolda House’s Curator, guided the group through the historic house and gallery.

After the tour, the bus loaded up to head to the home of Maya Angelou, Professor Giovanni’s long time friend, to sing Christmas carols. Some Museum staff overheard the group bragging that “Nikki gets an art bus.” We would brag, too.


Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. Over the past thirty years, her outspokenness, in her writing and in lectures, has brought the eyes of the world upon her. One of the most widely-read American poets, she prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English.” Giovanni remains as determined and committed as ever to the fight for civil rights and equality. Always insisting on presenting the truth as she sees it, she has maintained a prominent place as a strong voice of the Black community. Her focus is on the individual, specifically, on the power one has to make a difference in oneself, and thus, in the lives of others.  (http://nikki-giovanni.com/bio.shtml)

Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey is a dazzling exhibition of collages and other works inspired by Homer’s classical epics. On view at Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston-Salem, NC, through January 13, 2013. Visit reynoldahouse.org/epic for more information.


Professor Giovanni discusses exhibition with Reynolda House staff.


Professor Giovanni toured the historic house and art collection.


Professor Giovanni signs the exhibition comment book.