Honoring Faith Ringgold: Preserving Her Home and Studio

May 3, 2024 by Shayla Martin

The world of African American art lost a champion after the passing of multimedia artist Faith Ringgold on April 12. Born in Harlem, Ringgold delved into themes of gender, race, and class through painting, sculpture, and performance art, but was most well-known for her intricate and colorful story quilts – oversize canvases painted with narrative scenes of everyday life in Black America.

In addition to displays of her work across various museums and public spaces around the world, Ringgold’s home and studio in Englewood, New Jersey became a vault of artistic treasures. In 2022, she and her daughters, Michele and Barbara Wallace, and their Anyone Can Fly Foundation received a $75,000 grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund to transform Ringgold’s home and studio into a space to showcase the work of artists of the African diaspora from the 18th century onward. It was a rare opportunity for the fund to preserve a home and studio in partnership with an artist during their lifetime.

“Faith Ringgold showed incredible foresight by recognizing the need to preserve her artistic legacy for future generations,” said Lawana Holland-Moore, director of fellowships and interpretative strategies for the Action Fund. “It is rare to have the artist themselves weighing in on planning for what that vision could look like.”

The preservation of Ringgold’s home and studio has always been with the intention for it to serve as inspiration for future generations of creatives. Since receiving the grant from the Action Fund, Ringgold’s family has continued its mission to transform the home into a center for research, education, exhibitions, and cultural programming, ensuring that it will be the cornerstone of her artistic legacy. The Action Fund is looking forward to continuing to bring Ringgold’s vision to life.

"It was an honor to work with Faith Ringgold and her family to develop a plan for protecting her incredible legacy before her passing,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the Action Fund and senior vice president at the National Trust. “While she is no longer with us, we are thankful to support ongoing efforts to preserve her memory, home, and studio and the incredible works she produced there.”

Join us in protecting and restoring places where significant African American history happened.

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