In one of her final moves before her husband Bill de Blasio cedes his role as New York mayor to newly elected Eric Adams, Chirlane McCray joined the city’s Corrections Department last week to announce that a Faith Ringgold’s painting will pass from its decades. -long house on Rikers Island at the Brooklyn Museum, pending review by the NYC Public Design Commission.
For the Maison des Femmes, which shows women at work in fields ranging from medicine and public transportation to police and professional basketball, was dedicated to the Rikers Island Women’s Correctional Facility in 1972. Later, when the men moved into the facility in the 1980s, it was whitewashed before being rescued by an officer, after which the painting was restored and moved to a new women’s center, where it has remained ever since.
In a bid to shut down the notorious Rikers Island prison complex by 2027, DOC commissioner Vincent Schiraldi said in a statement: “While we are rightly leaving Rikers, there is a lot of history to remember. and to think. Bringing this piece into public view is an important part of learning and growing this story. We thank Faith Ringgold who devoted her talents to providing a little beauty in an otherwise difficult place. “
Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum, said her institution was “delighted that one of Faith Ringgold’s most iconic paintings is returning to our care,” referring to her previous inclusion in the Brooklyn Museum’s 2017 exhibition “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-1985. Pasternak continued, “We are delighted to share it with millions of people locally and around the world and engage them in dialogues on the work of this revolutionary artist and the themes of mass incarceration, equal rights. women, art movements of the 1970s, and more. ”
To replace the mural in her longtime home, the Art for Justice Fund – a business run by arts patron Agnes Gund with a mission statement focused on “ending mass incarceration and sub-racial prejudice. jacents ”- will offer funds for a new work to be integrated into its place. In the city’s press release, Gund said, “I am pleased to know that Faith Ringgold’s important painting will be moved to a permanent residence at the Brooklyn Museum, at the artist’s request. I sincerely hope that we all see Rikers Island closed, and that everyone who is incarcerated and working there will soon be transferred to a safer and more positive environment.