Saturday 03/12/22 1PM
New Museum TheaterVisit Us
Conversations · Exhibition-Related

On Faith: Matrilineal Art Histories

Cover Image:

Faith Ringgold, Mother’s Quilt, 1983. Painted, appliqued, and embroidered fabric with sequins, 58 × 43 ½ in. (147.3 × 110.5 cm). Collection Ed Bradley & Patricia Blanchet. © Faith Ringgold / ARS, NY and DACS, London, courtesy ACA Galleries, New York 2021. Photo:; courtesy Serpentine, London

In celebration of Women’s History Month and in conjunction with “Faith Ringgold: American People,” this panel discussion will explore Faith Ringgold’s enduring impact and the feminist values that ground her practice. Moderated by Susan Cahan, this panel features noted writers and scholars Joan Kee, Michele Wallace, and Julia Bryan-Wilson, who will consider how Ringgold’s art and activism sustains and extends matrilineal art histories within the United States and beyond.

About the speakers

Susan E. Cahan (b. 1961) is an art historian, educator, and curator who specializes in contemporary art and the history of museums. Her research focuses on the relationships between artists, institutions, and social change. Her book Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power (Duke University Press, 2016) examines the impact of the civil rights movement on art museums in New York City. In addition to other positions, she previously served as Curator of Education and Deputy Director of the New Museum of Contemporary Art. She is currently the dean of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture. Cahan received a B.A. in Art History and English from Tufts University, and a Ph.D. in Art History from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Joan Kee is an art historian and lawyer who lives in Detroit and works in Ann Arbor, where she is a Professor of the History of Art at the University of Michigan. A specialist in modern and contemporary art with particular interests in East Asian material culture from the late eighteenth century to the present, her forthcoming book, The Geometries of Afro Asia, explores the worlds Black and Asian artists catalyze through works created from the 1960s to the present. Her other books include Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekwha and the Urgency of Method and Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post Sixties America. Kee holds a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; JD, Harvard Law School; and BA in History of Art, Yale University.

Michele Wallace (b, 1952, Harlem, New York) is a Black feminist author, cultural critic, and daughter of artist Faith Ringgold. She is the author of several books, including Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman and Invisibility Blues, and is a Professor of English at the City College of New York and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). She holds a PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University, M.A. in English from City College, and B.A. in English and Creative Writing from City College.

Julia Bryan-Wilson (b. 1973, Amarillo, Texas) is an art historian who lives and works in Oakland, CA. She is the Doris and Clarence Malo Professor at University of California, Berkeley and has authored influential texts that center feminist and queer approaches to artistic labor and textiles. Recent honors and awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Frank Jewett Mather Award from CAA, and the Robert Motherwell Award from the Dedalus Foundation. She holds a PhD in History of Art and a BA in English Literature.


We strive to make our programs as accessible as possible. For full accessibility information, including services available by request, please click here.


This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

We gratefully acknowledge the Bowery Council of the New Museum for its support of Education and Public Engagement Programs.

Endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund; the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund; and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

Support for “Faith Ringgold: American People” can be viewed here.

Get Updates

We want to hear from you!

Help us improve our website by taking a 5-minute survey with a chance to win $100!

Take Survey
Back to mobile site