Farrington, Lisa E(dith) 1956–
Farrington, Lisa E(dith) 1956–
PERSONAL: Born June 11, 1956, in New York, NY; daughter of Duane C. and Joan M. Farrington. Education: Howard University, B.F.A., 1978; American University, M.A., 1980; City University of New York, Ph.D., 1996.
CAREER: Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, assistant to chief curator, 1980–87; Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY, assistant to president, 1988–89; Anthony McCall Associates, New York, NY, studio manager, 1989–94; Parsons School of Design, New York, NY, faculty member, 1993–. Adjunct lecturer, Hunter College of the City University of New York, 1990–91, Manhattan Community College, New York, NY, 1993–97, and Fashion Institute, New York, NY, 1994–95. Visiting assistant professor, City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, 1997–98. Consultant, Educational Testing Service/College Board Tests, Princeton, NJ, 1993–2004. Independent curator of exhibits, CUNY, 1994–95, 2001, and Parsons School of Design, 1999, 2004–05.
MEMBER: College Art Association, Studio Museum in Harlem, Guggenheim Museum.
AWARDS, HONORS: Andrew Mellon Foundation fellowship, 1995; New School for Social Research fellowship, 1996–97, 2004; MAGNET postdoctoral fellow, 1997–98; Ford Foundation fellow 2001–02; U.S. State Department writing grant, 2004.
Art on Fire: The Politics of Race and Sex in the Paintings of Faith Ringgold, Millennium Fine Arts Publishers (New York, NY), 1999.
Creating Their Own Image: The History of African-American Women Artists, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Contributing author, Harlem Renaissance Encyclopedia, Routledge, 2004. Contributing author, Skin Deep and Spirit Strong: The Black Female Body in American Culture, University of Michigan Press, 2003. Contributing author, Art by African Americans in the Collections of the New Jersey State Museum, 1998. Author of text for brochures, including Fifty Years of Haitian Art, 1994, and The Language of Color, 1994. Contributing editor, Gilbert and George: Singing Sculpture, 1993.
SIDELIGHTS: When Lisa E. Farrington began teaching a history seminar on the art of African-American women, she wanted a textbook to use in her classes. Finding none on the market, she wrote her own. Creating Their Own Image: The History of African-American Women Artists covers the artistic contributions of African American women from the mid-nineteenth century to 2004. To quote Donna Seaman in Booklist, Farrington's is "the first book-length history of African American women artists." Farrington demonstrates through prose and illustrations how black women have used diverse media to create art that stands in opposition to the stereotypes they confronted. From quilting and basket-making to murals and post-modern art, African-American women have drawn on their creative talents to construct a sense of self and a positive image of sisterhood.
While herself a specialist on modern artist Faith Ringgold, Farrington ranges widely in Creating Their Own Image to enrich understanding of a variety of female artists, from sculptress Edmonia Lewis to post-modernist Carol Ann Carter. Farrington also describes how the Harlem Renaissance inspired a generation of women to express themselves in the visual arts. Katherine C. Adams in Library Journal cited the book for its "insightful, sophisticated scholarship," and Jeanne Fox-Alston in Black Issues Book Review praised the text for its "sophisticated understanding of [women artists'] work and the milieu in which it was created." In the New York Times, Holland Cotter noted that Farrington's book "fills a critical gap in art-historical literature…. New images and scholarship will flow from it." A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that Creating Their Own Image "is brimming with discoveries."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Black Issues Book Review, March-April, 2005, Jeanne Fox-Alston, "The Herstory of Black Art," p. 20.
Booklist, February 1, 2005, Donna Seaman, review of Creating Their Own Image: The History of African-American Women Artists, p. 933.
New York Times, January 7, 2005, Holland Cotter, review of Creating Their Own Image, p. E2.
Publishers Weekly, December 13, 2004, review of Creating Their Own Image, p. 60.