Faith Ringgold : Story Quilts

Le Café des Artistes, 1994, Faith Ringgold

Le Café des Artistes (The French Collection, Part II: #11), 1994
acrylic on canvas with fabric boarders, 79 1/2 x 90 inches
Private Collection

Front row, left to right: William H. Johnson, Archibald Motley, Willia Marie Simone, Elizabeth Catlett, Lois Mailou Jones, Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, Edmonia Lewis, Faith Ringgold.
Middle row, left to right: Sargent Johnson, Romare Bearden, Aaron Douglas, Henry O. Tanner, Paul Gauguin, Vincent Vang Gogh, Augusta Savage,
Back row, left to right: Ed Clark, Raymond Saunders, Jacob Lawrence, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Maurice Urtillo.

November 15, 2008 — March 1, 2009

Opening Reception Saturday, November 22, 6 - 8 pm
Book Signing Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 3 pm at the Danforth Museum of Art
Lecture Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 7 pm in the Dwight Performing Arts Center, Framingham State College

Also on view: FAITH RINGGOLD : Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky

About the Artist

Faith Ringgold 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 storytelling. She has exhibited in major museums throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She is in the permanent collection of numerous 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 eleven children's books, and her first book, Tar Beach was a Caldecott Honor Book and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration, among numerous other honors. Ringgold 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 seventeen honorary doctorates. For more info, see www.faithringgold.com.

About the Exhibit

Faith Ringgold has been creating narrative “story” quilts since the 1970s. Combining acrylic painting on canvas, quilted fabric, and actual text that tells a story, these quilts have catapulted Ringgold to international fame. Instead of stretching her canvas over wooden stretchers, Ringgold, in collaboration with her mother, a fashion designer, began to sew fabric borders around her paintings. Working with fabric has been a strong part of Faith’s family history, beginning with Ringgold’s great, great grandmother, who was a slave and had made quilts for her slave-owners. She later incorporated written text into her works that communicated the themes most important to her: stories of her own life, of African American women and artists throughout history, and of racial and gender inequality.

On view at the Danforth Museum of Art will be a selection of Ringgold’s quilted works, including, Le Café Des Artistes, a story quilt which has not been exhibited for ten years due to its location in a private collection. This quilt from Ringgold’s French Collection series #2, depicts Ringgold herself amongst several prominent artists and writers, including Romare Bearden, Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Jacob Lawrence and Harlem Renaissance artist—and former Framingham resident—Meta Warrick Fuller. Other story quilts include two works from Ringgold’s Coming to Jones Road series, which allude to the story of the Underground Railroad, as well as two large Jazz series quilts, with related drawings and prints. A soft fiber art sculpture of a mother reading to her children is also on view, directing visitors to a companion exhibition in the Museum’s Children’s Gallery.

Also on View

In conjunction with the depiction of notable African American artists in Ringgold’s quilt Le Café Des Artistes, the Danforth Museum of Art will be exhibiting the prints of Jacob Lawrence and the sculptures of Meta Warrick Fuller in adjoining galleries. Jacob Lawrence’s Toussaint L’Ouverture prints tell the story of a Haitian freedom fighter and the Legend of John Brown relates the history a pre Civil War Abolitionist. Both will be on view through January 4, 2009. The Meta Warrick Fuller’s exhibition features work from the artist’s Framingham studio, which was gifted to the Museum’s permanent collection by the Fuller family in 2004. Faith Ringgold’s original illustrations for her children’s book Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railway in the Sky will be on view in the Museum’s Children’s Gallery, November 5, 2005 - March 1, 2009.

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