Ringgold, Faith(1930– ) painter, soft sculptor, performance artist, social activist; born in New York City. She earned B.A. (1948) and M.A. (1959) degrees at City College of New York and began to paint seriously after a trip to Europe in 1961. She soon put aside European influences, however, and began to represent her African-American heritage. A strong feminist, she stated that her art had "taken its direction" from her awareness of herself as a woman artist. From the 1970s, she increasingly concerned herself with representations of black women, often creating cloth and bead female figures with traditional African craft techniques. She also did wall hangings and quilts, appeared on stage in her own performance pieces, and wrote and illustrated two books. Her work hangs in many private collections and American museums, including New York's Museum of Modern Art.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.