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Metropolitan Museum of Art Displays The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt by Faith Ringgold and New York City Students

The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt, designed by the artist Faith Ringgold and created in collaboration with New York City students ages 8 to 19, will be exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from August 30, 2011 through January 22, 2012, in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt poignantly conveys the importance of respect, understanding, and communication across cultures and religions to achieve the goal of peace. Comprised of three 72-by-50 inch panels, each with 12 squares on the theme of peace, the quilt will be displayed alongside several of the students’ original works of art that inspired its content, as well as related works made this summer by the Museum’s high school interns.

Faith Ringgold and young New Yorkers (ages 8-19), The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt, 2006. Fabric and acrylic. Three panels, 72 x 50 in. each (approx.) Commissioned by the InterRelations Collaborative, Inc.

On Sunday, September 11, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 special programming will be offered at the Museum, including a talk by Faith Ringgold, readings by New York University students related to The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt, and an afternoon concert at The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing.

The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with the InterRelations Collaborative, Inc.

Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the nonprofit organization InterRelations Collaborative, which is dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding through art among diverse student populations, brought together young people from across New York City to document their experiences. A selection of the students’ drawings and writings were published in the book What Will YOU Do For Peace? Impact of 9/11 on New York City Youth. In 2006, the InterRelations Collaborative commissioned Faith Ringgold to design The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt based on the book. Ringgold and her assistant Grace Matthews worked with the young artists to produce a story quilt using compositions from the Peace book. The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt combines words and images to convey messages of healing and unity, and the collective labor of making the quilt is an expression of community building.

Artist Faith Ringgold is well known for her story quilts: art that combines painting, quilted fabric, and storytelling. Ringgold began to use quilt making in 1983 as a means of developing narratives that explore issues of race, feminism, and community. She learned quilting from her grandmother, who had learned from her own mother, a former slave. Ringgold’s work has been exhibited in major museums around the world and can be found in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art, among others. In addition to writing and illustrating 11 children’s books, she has been the recipient of more than 75 awards, fellowships, citations, and honors, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship for painting, two National Endowment for the Arts Awards, and 17 honorary doctorates.

The presentation of The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt is organized by Rebecca McGinnis, Museum Educator in Access and Community Programs at the Metropolitan Museum.

Special Commemorative Programming on Sunday, September 11
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the Museum will offer a number of related programs.

On September 11 at 2 p.m., the Museum will present a Sunday at the Met program in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium with Faith Ringgold, entitled The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt and 50 Years of Making Art. Also on September 11, at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the Uris Center for Education, graduate students from New York University’s Creative Writing Program will read from the “Poetry Quilt” they developed in response to the exhibition. Visitors can contribute to the project and submit their own responses by using #peacequilt on Twitter.

Commemorative concert
At 3:30 p.m. the concert “Remembering September 11,” will be presented at The Temple of Dendur. The Wordless Music Orchestra, conducted by Ryan McAdams, will perform a world premiere live orchestration of William Basinski’s ambient masterwork, The Disintegration Loops, dpl 1.1, as well as three other works of memory and remembrance: Ingram Marshall’s Fog Tropes II for String Quartet and Tape, Alfred Schnittke’s Collected Songs Where Every Verse is Filled With Grief, arranged by David Harrington; and Osvaldo Golijov’s Tenebrae for String Quartet. The hour-long program is free with Museum admission.

The concert also will be streamed live on Q2, New York Public Radio’s new music internet stream,, as well as on NPR Music: For information on this concert, call (212) 570-3949 or visit

This concert has been made possible by The Metabolic Studio. It is presented by Wordless Music and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in cooperation with Issue Project Room.

Lauren Bon and Metabolic Studio: Derived from the Greek word for change, metabolism is the process that maintains life. In continuous cycles of creation and destruction, metabolism transforms nutrients into energy and matter. Working to sustain these cycles, the Metabolic Studio aims to transform resources into energy, actions, and objects that nurture life. The Metabolic Studio is a direct charitable activity of the Annenberg Foundation under the direction of artist Lauren Bon.

Additional Programs for The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt
Throughout fall 2011, the Museum will continue to offer an array of education programs in conjunction with the exhibition. On October 14, the Museum will present: Exploring American Quilts, featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the Museum’s collection of American quilts (2:30 p.m.); and Piecework, an opportunity for visitors to learn about quilt-making materials and techniques, and to stitch their own pieced quilt block (5:30 p.m.). Additional programs include gallery talks, an open house for teachers, family programs, and an inter-generational storytelling and quilt-making program for people with dementia.

Of Special Note
Also on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of September 11, the Museum will have a special display of Charles Demuth’s 1928 painting I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, a graphic representation of the number 5 on a New York City fire engine rushing down the street, as described in William Carlos Williams’s poem “The Great Figure.” In 2001, modern members of Ladder Company 5 were among the first responders to the tragedy at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Beginning on October 13, 2011, Demuth’s painting will be featured in the Metropolitan’s exhibition Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O’Keeffe.

The exhibition also will be featured on the Museum’s website at

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