Faith Ringgold (b. October 8, 1930, New York, New York), was an artist and author who became famous for innovative, quilted marrations that communicate her political beliefs.
Ringgold grew up in New York City's Harlem, and while still in high school she decided to be an artist. She attended City College of New York, where she received B. S. (1955) and M. A. (1959) degrees. In the mid-1950s she began teaching art in New York public schools. By the 1960s, her work had matured, reflecting her burgeoning political consciousness, study of African arts and history, and appreciation for the freedom of form used by her young students.
Faith Ringgold (born October 8, 1930, in Harlem, New York City) is an African-American artist, best known for her painted story quilts.
Her birth name was Faith Willi Jones and she was raised in Harlem and educated at the City College of New York, where she studied with Robert Gwathmey and Yasuo Kuniyoshi. After receiving a Bachelor's Degree, she taught in the public school system in New York. She received an M.A. from the college in 1959. In 1970, Ringgold began teaching college level courses. She is the professor emeritus in the University of California, San Diego visual art department.
She was greatly influenced by the fabric she worked with at home with her mother, Willi Posey, who was a fashion designer, and Ringgold has used fabric in many of her artworks. She is especially well known for her painted story quilts, which blur the line between "high art" and "craft" by combining painting, quilted fabric, and storytelling
During the 1960s, Ringgold painted flat, figural compositions that focused on the racial conflicts; depicting everything from riots to cocktail parties, which resulted in her "American People" series, showing the female view of the Civil Rights Movement. The 1970s mark her move into the sculptural figures that depicted fictional slave stories as well as contemporary ones. Ringgold began quilted artworks in 1980; her first quilt being "Echoes of Harlem." She quilted her stories in order to be heard, since at the time no one would publish her autobiography. "Who's Afraid of Aunt Jemima?" (1983) is a quilt showing the story of Aunt Jemima as a matriarch restaurateur. Ringgold modeled her "story quilts" on the Buddhist Thangkas, lovely pictures painted on fabric and quilted or brocaded, which could then be easily rolled up and transported. She has influenced numerous modern artists, including Linda Freeman, and known some of the greatest African-American artists personally, including Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Betye Saar.
Ringgold's work is in the permanent collection of many museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and other museums, mostly in New York City.
In addition, she has written and illustrated seventeen children's books. Her first was Tar Beach, published by Crown in 1991, based on her quilt story of the same name. For that work she won the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award and the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration. She was also the runner-up for the Caldecott Medal, the premier American Library Association award for picture book illustration.
Ringgold is represented by ACA Gallery.
On January 16, 2012, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, she had a Google Doodle featured on Google's home page.
Ringgold has been an activist since the 1970s, participating in several feminist, anti-racist organizations. In 1970, Ringgold, fellow artist Poppy Johnson, and art critic Lucy Lippard, founded the Ad Hoc Women's Art Committee and protested the Whitney Annual, a major art exhibition held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Members of the committee demanded that women artists account for fifty percent of the exhibitors and created disturbances at the museum by leaving raw eggs and sanitary napkins on its grounds and by gathering to sing, blow whistles, and chant about their exclusion. Ringgold and Lippard also worked together during their participation in the group Women Artists in Revolution (WAR) That same year, Ringgold and her daughter, the writer Michele Wallace, founded Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation (WSABAL). Around 1974, Ringgold and Wallace were founding members of the National Black Feminist Organization. Ringgold was also a founding member of the "Where We At" Black Women Artists, a New York-based women art collective associated with the Black Arts Movement.
Copyright suit against BET
Ringgold was also the plaintiff in a significant copyright case, Ringgold v. Black Entertainment Television. Black Entertainment Television (BET) had aired several episodes of the television series Roc in which a Ringgold poster was shown on nine different occasions for a total of 26.75 seconds. Ringgold sued for copyright infringement. The court found BET liable for copyright infringement, rejecting the de minimis defense raised by BET, which had argued that the use of Ringgold's copyrighted work was so minimal that it did not constitute an infringement.
In popular culture
- A new elementary and middle school in Hayward, California, Faith Ringgold School K-8, was named after her in 2007.
Painting of Faith Ringgold
Publications by Faith Ringgold
|Library resources about|
|By Faith Ringgold|
- Tar Beach, New York: Crown Publishing Company, 1991. ISBN 978-0-517-88544-4
- Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky, New York: Random House, Crown Publishers. ISBN 978-0-517-88543-7
- Dinner at Aunt Connie’s House, New York: Hyperion Books for Children. ISBN 978-0-590-13713-3
- We Flew Over The Bridge: Memoirs of Faith Ringgold, Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown and Company, 1995; Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0-8223-3564-1
- Talking To Faith Ringgold, by Faith Ringgold, Linda Freeman and Nancy Roucher, New York: Crown Books for Young Readers, 1996. ISBN 978-0-517-70914-6
- 7 Passages To A Flight, an artist’s book, San Diego, California: Brighton Press.
- Bonjour Lonnie, New York: Hyperion Books for Young Readers, 1996. ISBN 978-0-7868-0076-6
- My Dream of Martin Luther King, New York: Crown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-0-517-88577-2
- The Invisible Princess, New York: Crown Books for Young Readers. ISBN 978-0-440-41735-4
- If a Bus Could Talk, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999. ISBN 978-0-689-85676-1
- Counting to Tar Beach, New York: Crown, 2000. ISBN 978-0-517-80022-5
- Cassie's Colorful Day, New York: Crown, 2000. ISBN 978-0-517-80021-8
- Cassie's Word Quilt, New York: Crown, 2001. ISBN 978-0-553-11233-7
- O Holy Night: Christmas with the Boys Choir of Harlem, New York: Harper Collins, 2004. ISBN 978-1-4223-5512-1
- The Three Witches by Zora Neale Hurston illustrated by Faith Ringgold, New York: Harper Collins, 2005. ISBN 978-0-06-000649-5
- Bronzeville Boys and Girls (poetry) by Gwendolyn Brooks illustrated by Faith Ringgold, New York: Harper Collins, 2007. ISBN 978-0-06-029505-9
- What Will You Do for Peace? Impact of 9/11 on New York City Youth, InterRelations Collaborative, Inc., 2004. ISBN 978-0-9761753-0-8
- 2011: City College of New York’s First Annual Cultural Arts Award
- 2009: Met with President Barack Obama for Peace Corps award
- 2006: Harlem Arts alliance Golden Legacy Visual Arts Award
- 2006: James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art Honoree
- 2005: Amistad Center for Art & Culture Presidents Award
- 2005: Moore College of Art and Design’s Visionary Women Award
- 2004: National Visionary Leadership Project
- 2002: California Art Educators Association Living Artists Award
- 2001: Dedicators Award 10/27/01
- 2001: Art Institute of Chicago, May 19, 2001
- 2000: Mary Grove College, Honorary Art Degree
- 1999: NAACP Image Award
- 1999: Art alliance (Scholastic) April 13, 1999
- 1999: CITYarts "Making a Difference Through the Arts" Award, June 21, 1999
- 1999: Bank Street, May 27, 1999
- 1995: Townsend Harris Medal City College of New York Alumni Association
- 1990: La Napoule Foundation Award for painting (in France)
- 1989: National Endowment For the Arts Award for painting
- 1988: New York Foundation For the Arts Award for painting
- 1987: John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for painting
- 1978: National Endowment For the Arts Award for sculpture
- 1976: American Association of University Women for travel to Africa
- 1971: Creative Artists Public Service Award for painting