Celebrating African American art throughout the year, 2023 calendars feature Alma Thomas, Winfred Rembert, Faith Ringgold, Jacob Lawrence and more


ALMA THOMAS IS KNOWN for her masterful use of color, pattern and rhythm. With cascading columns of color raining down on a large-scale canvas, “The Eagle Has Landed” (1970-71) is a striking example of his famous spatial paintings. Dominated by vertical planes of blue-toned brushstrokes, the abstract work is inspired by the first moon landing over half a century ago in 1969.

In a statement a few years later, Thomas said, “With the success of Apollo 11, man has accomplished his greatest achievement. Emerging from the Eagle, our astronauts were the first humans to walk on the surface of the moon. This motivated the paintings: “The Eagle Has Landed”, “The Lunar Surface” and “The Man Walks on the Moon”.

ALMA THOMAS, “The Eagle Has Landed,” 1970-71 (acrylic on canvas, 50 1/4 × 50 1/8 inches), Private Collection. | Alma Thomas 2023 wall calendar, published by Pomegranate

“The Eagle Has Landed” was featured in the recent traveling exhibit “Alma Thomas: All Is Beautiful” and now graces the cover of a 2023 wall calendar dedicated to the beloved artist.

For the first time, calendars celebrating the work of Thomas and Faith Ringgold were produced for 2022. It was a notable occasion, given the dearth of calendars over the years focused on black female artists. With a new year on the horizon, popular and critically acclaimed artists are once again the subject of calendars, for 2023.

Winfred Rembert’s work also graces a new 2023 calendar. Rembert made narrative paintings on embossed leather and only began to see greater esteem for his work late in his life. He died in 2021 at the age of 85. Lifelong acclaimed artists Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden are also the focus of new calendars. Meanwhile, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History is spotlighting rising talent, choosing the work of contemporary quilt artist Bisa Butler for the cover of its 2023 calendar, a survey of Afro art. -American from its collection, by a variety of artists.

Here is a selection of 2023 wall calendars that celebrate African American art throughout the year:

The Alma Thomas Calendar features an array of works dating from approximately 1960 to 1977. | Alma Thomas 2023 wall calendar, published by Pomegranate

Alma Thomas Wall Calendar 2023

Born in Columbus, Georgia, Alma Thomas has spent most of her adult life and career in Washington, DC, where space, nature, and floral gardens have inspired her abstract works. Selections included in the calendar were featured in “Alma Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful,” the artist’s recent traveling exhibition and accompanying catalog. The works are from Fisk University and Tougaloo College, both HBCUs, and the Columbus Museum, Thomas’ hometown museum and co-curator of the exhibit, among other public and private collections.

FAITH RINGGOLD, “American People Series #16, Woman Looking in a Mirror”, 1966 (oil on canvas, 36 x 32 inches). © Faith Ringgold. | Faith Ringgold Wall Calendar 2023, published by Pomegranate

Faith Ringgold Wall Calendar 2023

Faith Ringgold, born in Harlem and based in New Jersey, makes insightful works that speak to American race, culture and politics; women’s experiences; and his own story. Covering the arc of her current career, the calendar features paintings, prints and quilt works dating from 1966 to 2010. The first work, “Woman Looking in a Mirror” (1966), from the American People series by the artist, adorns the cover. Dorian Bergen, Ringgold dealer at ACA Galleries, recently told Artnet News that the painting “explores black female subjectivity. In this work, Ringgold turns the gaze of the black woman, often objectified in Western art, towards herself. This seminal work expresses Faith’s struggle to make a place for herself in the history of white supremacist and misogynistic art.

ROMARE BEARDEN, Thanks for…FUML (Funking Up My Life), 1978 (collage of various papers in ink and graphite on fiberboard, 15 x 18 3/8 inches). | Romare Bearden 2023 wall calendar, published by Pomegranate

Romare Bearden 2023 Wall Calendar

A towering presence in African American art, Romare Bearden, born in North Carolina, lived and worked in New York. Famous in particular for his intricate collages, his subjects reflect his Southern roots and his wide variety of interests and experiences as a New York artist. The calendar includes figurative rural scenes and jazz compositions, an ode to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Mountaintop” speech, and Bearden’s Odysseus series. The cover image, “Thanks for… FUML (Funking Up My Life)”, was created to illustrate trumpeter Donald Byrd’s 1978 album of the same name.

WINFRED REMBERT, “Sugar Cane (Patsy’s Mother)”, 2008 (dye on sculpted and embossed leather, 26 3/4 x 21 1/4). | Winfred Rembert 2023 wall calendar, published by Pomegranate

Winfred Rembert 2023 Wall Calendar

Working with carved and embossed leather, Winfred Rembert (1945-2021) painted vivid scenes of the separated South – cotton fields, chain gangs, billiard halls and church services. The images reflect his childhood memories of a difficult existence in rural Cuthbert, Georgia. When Rembert died last year, he was living and working in New Haven, Connecticut. His posthumously published memoir, “Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South,” won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Biography. The images included in the timeline are overwhelmingly positive and focus primarily on celebration and community, rather than violence and struggle.

Jacob Lawrence Wall Calendar 2023

A renowned figure in 20th century art, Jacob Lawrence grew up in Harlem where he observed the people and scenes that would become his subjects and studied with artists from whom he gained the skills and confidence to establish his own style. The calendar focuses on Lawrence’s paintings that document ordinary African American life, with titles such as ‘University’, ‘Shoemaker’, ‘Free Clinic’ and ‘Pool Parlour’, ‘Strike’ (about baseball) and “The Wedding”. Dating from 1937 to 1988-89, the works are drawn from multiple collections, including three HBCUs: Howard University, Bennett College, and Clark-Atlanta University.

ROMARE BEARDEN, “The Lamp”, 1984. 2023 Wall Calendar of African American Art, published by Pomegranate

African American Art Wall Calendar 2023

This calendar features works by a diverse, multi-generational group of acclaimed artists working in a variety of styles from abstraction to figuration, including Melvin Gray Johnson, Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence to Alma Thomas, Charles White and Charles Porter . Highlights include Faith Ringgold’s “Women Free Angela” (1971) and Romare Bearden’s “The Lamp,” which was produced in limited runs to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), and appears on the cover.

BISA BUTLER, “I Go To Prepare A Place For You”, 2021 (cotton, silk and velvet, 90 3/4 × 64 1/2 × 1/4 inches / 230.5 × 163.8 × 0.6 cm) . @ Bisa Butler, National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection. | 2023 Wall Calendar of African American Art, published by Universe Publishing

NMAAHC African American Art Wall Calendar 2023

Last year, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, acquired Bisa Butler’s “I Go To Prepare A Place For You” (2021). The quilted portrait of Harriet Tubman appears on the cover of the calendar, which also features additional works from the Smithsonian Museum’s collection by artists Charles Alston, Alvin Carl Hollingsworth, Wadsworth Jerrell, Fahamu Pecou, ​​Lorna Simpson, Merton Simpson and Lava Thomas, among the others.

Additionally, the Museum of Modern Art’s 2023 Modern Art Calendar includes works by Julie Mehretu, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Alma Thomas, and the New York in Art Calendar 2023 published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art features works by Lawrence and Bearden. , whose 18-foot-long collage “The Block” (1971) graces the cover. CT

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