Faith Ringgold, born 1930 in Harlem, New York is a painter, mixed media sculptor, performance artist, writer, teacher and lecturer. She received her B.S. and M.A. degrees in visual art from the City College of New York in 1955 and 1959.
In the 60s Faith created a significant body of work that has been the subject of several solo museum shows and a catalogue published by the Neuberger Museum. In 2016 the Museum of Modern Art purchased a monumental painting, “Die” for their permanent collection.
Known for her story quilts, Faith made her first quilt, Echoes of Harlem, in 1980, in collaboration with her mother, Madame Willi Posey. However, these paintings were not only bordered with fabric but quilted, creating for her a unique way of painting using the quilt medium.
Ringgold’s first story quilt Who’s Afraid of Aunt Jemima? was written in 1983 as a way of publishing her unedited words. The addition of text to her quilts has developed into a unique medium and style all her own.
Crown Publishers published Faith Ringgold’s first book, the award winning Tar Beach in 1991. It has won over 20 awards including the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King award for the best-illustrated children’s book of 1991. An animated version with Natalie Cole as the voice-over was created by HBO in 2010. The book is based on the story quilt of the same title from The Woman on a Bridge Series, 1988. The original painted story quilt, Tar Beach, is in the permanent collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
Faith has written and illustrated 18 children’s books and has received over 80 awards and 23 Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees. Her work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and The Brooklyn Museum in New York, among others.
Faith Ringgold is as important to the overall culture of America as she is to the specifics of contemporary American art. From her earliest breakthroughs during the turbulent decade of the 60s and continuing into the new millennium, Faith Ringgold maintains her stature as a creative and cultural force.