In 1970, the Ad Hoc Women Artists’ Committee of the Art Workers’ Coalition, Women Artists in Revolution, and Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation protested outside the Whitney Museum during its Annual Exhibition (which became the Whitney Biennial in 1973). They were protesting the Whitney’s failure to include women artists, especially those of color.
In this photograph, Faith Ringgold (right) and her daughter, Michele Wallace (middle), are pictured here outside of the Whitney’s Breuer building on the Upper East Side. To view more of Raay’s photography, please visit her website.
As an efficient and inexpensive method for widely disseminating information, printmaking has long been associated with protest and freedom of expression. Many artists in the 1960s explored printmaking as a primary means for making art, prioritizing utility and accessibility over preciousness or market value. Their posters, prints, announcements, and other forms of printed ephemera were relatively easy to produce in bulk and distribute, allowing artists to circumvent and undermine an increasingly commercialized art world.
For artists of the Black Arts Movement, screen prints and posters became a primary medium for creative experimentation and sharing political ideas. Barbara Jones-Hogu was a painter, printmaker, filmmaker, and educator from Chicago. In 1968, with four other artists, she co-founded AFRICOBRA, the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. Her work has appeared in exhibitions in Chicago and around the United States, and has been collected by many major institutions.