When Romare Bearden was a little boy, his family moved from the countryside to the biggest city in America, New York. As a grown-up, he created collages inspired by his childhood—traveling south to visit his grandparents in North Carolina and the sights and sounds of New York City. Bearden started by collecting pieces of paper, including magazine illustrations, wallpaper, and hand-painted papers. He cut them into shapes and glued them onto a large piece of canvas, layering the pieces to make his picture. Bearden described his technique as “collage painting” because he often painted on top of the collaged papers.