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Modern Art Monday Presents: Faith Ringgold, Postage Stamp Commemorating The Advent of Black Power

postage stamp commemorating the advent of black power photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

American People, Faith Ringgold’s first exhibition outside Harlem, opened at Spectrum Gallery on 57th Street in December 1967. The exhibition featured her three murals, including U.S. Postage Stamp Commemorating The Advent of Black Power (1967). Despite Ringgold’s determination to exhibit her paintings throughout the mid-1960s, she initially met with little success. The white-owned commercial galleries on 57th Street were dismissive, and Spiral, identified affectionately as the “old men of Black art“ by the painter Vivian Brown, declined to admit her into the group. But following public displays of her work in Harlem in 1966 — including in a traveling caravan exhibition organized by Amiri Baraka “(then LeRoi Jones)  and Betty Blayton-Taylor for the Black Arts Repertory Theater — she was invited to join the cooperative Spectrum Gallery, where New York school abstraction was still prominent and every artist on the roster except Ringgold was white.

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