Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Salt Lake City, UT




The Story Quilts of Faith Ringgold

September 8 - November 19, 2000


"In all my work, I want to make a connection with people, to communicate my concerns, which are expressed in my work. I want to in some way touch their lives and give them reinforcement and inspiration for their own problems. I'm inspired by people's quests, powers and life struggles and I like to share my stories with them." -- Faith Ringgold


The Utah Museum of Fine Arts will unveil a new traveling exhibition of six story quilts by Faith Ringgold.

Born in Harlem, New York, Ringgold grew up on the heels of the Harlem Renaissance and at the threshold of the Great Depression. She began her artistic career more than 35 years ago as a painter. Today, she is best known for her painted story quilts -- art that combines painting, quilted fabric and story-telling. Through these quilts, Ringgold has created vivid paintings that take on such social issues as slavery, feminism, women's work, craft, and world politics. Quilts are a part of Ringgold's own family tradition. She remembers watching her grandmother make quilts and her great-great-grandmother, Susie Shannon, taught her to sew quilts. Shannon was a slave and made quilts for the plantation owners as part of her duties as a house girl. (left: The Flag is Bleeding #2, 1997)

The story quilts featured in this exhibit will include Wedding on the Seine, The Flag is Bleeding #2, A Family Portrait, Subway Graffiti #3, Bessie's Blues, and The Bitter Nest Part 4: The Letter. Today, prices for Ringgold's story quilts range from $75,000 to $80,000.

Ringgold has exhibited in major museums in the USA Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She is in the permanent collection of many museums including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art. She has written and illustrated seven children's books including Tar Beach and If a Bus Could Talk: The Stary of Rosa Parks. (left: A Family Portrait, 1997)

She has received more than 75 awards, fellowships, citations and honors, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship for painting, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards and eleven honorary doctorates, one of which is from her alma mater The City College of New York.

Faith Ringgold is married to Burdette Ringgold and has two daughters, Michele and Barbara Wallace; and three granddaughters, Faith, Theodora and Martha. She is a professor of art at the University of California in San Diego, California.

On Sunday, October 15, Donnette Hatch Atiyah, curator of the exhibit, will give a lecture and slide show about the life and works of Faith Ringgold. The event will be held in the Fine Arts Auditorium beginning at 3:00 p.m. A reception will follow in the Main Gallery of the UMFA. The event is free to the public.

The UMFA is pleased to host this exhibit and lecture which are part of "Looking Back With Pleasure II: A Celebration", a month long festival in celebration of one hundred years of African American contributions in literature and culture. For more information about the festival please contact Dr. Wilfred Samuels at (801) 581-3288.

Read more in Resource Library Magazine about Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 3/23/11

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