Echoes of Harlem

Faith Ringgold (b. 1930) Echoes of Harlem, 1980 Hand painted cotton 89 1/2 × 80 1/2 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Altria Group, Inc. 2008.13.10

In the 1970s Faith Ringgold collaborated with her mother, Willi Posey, a well-known tailor in Harlem, to make a number of textile works. Echoes of Harlem was Ringgold’s first quilt and her final collaborative project with her mother. The composition unifies four distinct fabrics in a recurring rhythm and frames thirty faces, which display a variety of individual expressions. Together, the faces represent the many life stories present in Harlem. In subsequent years Ringgold began constructing narrative quilts that portray different aspects of African-American life in the United States.