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© Faith Ringgold
Title: Jo Baker's Birthday
Date: 1993
Artist: Faith Ringgold
American, born 1930
Medium: acrylic on canvas with tie-dyed and printed fabric
Dimensions:
74 1/4 x 78 1/2 in. (188.6 x 199.4 cm)
Credit Line: Museum Minority Artists Purchase Fund, the Honorable Carol E. Jackson, Casually Off-Grain Quilters of Chesterfield, Mr. and Mrs. Steven M. Cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Lester A. Crancer Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Solon Gershman, Mr. Sidney Goldstein in memory of Chip Goldstein, The Links, Inc., Gateway Chapter, the Honorable and Mrs. Charles A. Shaw, Donald M. Suggs, the Thimble & Thread Quilt Guild, and funds given in honor of Cuesta Benberry
Object Number: 10:1994
Place made: United States
Current Location: Not On View
Notes:
This quilt tells a story of a fictional African American artist living in 1920s France. Throughout a series of such quilts, the character Willia Marie Simone encounters important modern European artists as well as influential African American women. Through Willia, Ringgold reshapes the past to redress the absence of such figures in art history. In panels of text along the top and bottom of the quilt, Willia explains that she is painting a portrait of the famous dancer Josephine Baker. Behind the figure of Baker is an image from Henri Matisse’s "Harmony in Red," a painting Willia believes Baker would love. Regarding her choice of the quilt as a medium, Ringgold has said, “Feminist art is soft art, lightweight art, sewing art…Women’s art is less rigid, and it’s open to all kinds of new innovations.”
Signed: l.r.: Jo Baker's Birthday by Faith Ringgold [copyright] November 2, 1993 NYC
Provenance
- 1993
Faith Ringgold Inc., Englewood, NJ, acting as agent to artist [1]

1993 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Faith Ringgold Inc. [2]


Notes
[1] Invoice dated December 7, 1993 [SLAM document files].

[2] Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, January 19, 1994.
Exhibition History
Title: African American Art: Masterworks of Contemporary Art
Date: June 24, 2005–August 28, 2005
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Dancing at the Louvre: Faith Ringgold's French Collection
Date: January 24, 1998 - August 20, 2000
Venue: Akron Art Museum
Venue: Art, Design & Architecture Museum
Venue: Madison Art Center
Venue: The Baltimore Museum of Art
Venue: Wichita Art Museum
Venue: Kalamazoo Institute for the Arts
Venue: Fort Wayne Museum of Art
Venue: Contemporary Art Center of Virginia
Venue: Chicago Cultural Center
Venue: New Museum of Contemporary Art
Title: Tempus Fugit: Time Flies
Date: October 15 - December 31, 2000
Venue: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Title: Currents 57: Faith Ringgold
Date: March 22, 1994 - May 8, 1994
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Memory Portraits
Date: May 25, 2007 – January 6, 2008
Venue: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Publication History
Title: Faith Ringgold Arrives
Periodical Title: St. Louis American
Author: Debra A. Robinson
Title: New At the Museum: Jo Baker's Birthday
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Edition: March-April
Year Published: 1994
Title: Quilts: A Living Tradition
Author: Robert Shaw
Title: Currents 57: Faith Ringgold
Author: Jackie Lewis-Harris
Title: Textiles from the Collection
Periodical Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Bulletin
Author: Zoe Annis Perkins
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Tempus Fugit, Time Flies
Editor: Jan Schall
Title: Faith Ringgold: A View From the Studio
Author: Curlee Raven Holton
Title: The Ringgold Cycle
Periodical Title: Art News
Author: Gail Gregg
Title: Dancing at the Louvre: Faith Ringgold's French Collection and Other Story Quilts
Year Published: 1998
Title: Faith Ringgold
Author: Lisa E. Farrington
Title: Faith Ringgold: Dancing at the Louvre
Periodical Title: Fiberarts
Edition: November/December
Year Published: 1998
Title: We Flew Over The Bridge: The Memoirs of Faith Ringgold
Author: Faith Ringgold
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