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Highlights

Bisa Butler: The Playlist

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Artist Bisa Butler and her husband, a longtime DJ, chose this selection of songs to pair with each of her quilts as well as other works from the museum’s collection, all of which are on view in Bisa Butler: Portraits.

Find the full Spotify playlist here.


Bisa Butler. Cavigga Family Trust Foundation. © Bisa Butler

Anaya with Oranges, 2017


Bisa Butler. Dimmitt Davies Collection. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

A vibrant quilt depicts four young girls in party dresses, white socks, and black Mary Janes. The girl on the far left is turned to the side, her dress twisting and flaring as she moves.

Four Little Girls, September 15, 1963, 2018


Bisa Butler. Michelle and Pete Scantland. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

Quilted portrait of a mother and daughter, both African American. The daughter stands slightly in front of the mother, and they both look into the distance. They wear vibrantly colored and patterned clothing—orange, purple, yellow, lime green. On a gray background are sewn words that seem to be from a letter from daughter to mother expressing love, referencing the title of the work, "Dear Mama."

Dear Mama, 2019


Bisa Butler. Collection of Scott and Cissy Wolfe. © Bisa Butler. Photo by Margaret Fox


Romare Howard Bearden
A vibrantly colored and patterned quilt depicts a young boy, sitting with one leg dangling down and the other leg bent in front of him. An elbow rest on the bent leg, while the other arm balances his weight on the seat. He looks directly at the viewer, his eyebrows furrowed.

Mannish Boy, 2018


Bisa Butler. Private collection. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

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The Princess, 2018


Bisa Butler. Collection of Bob and Jane Clark. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

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Kindred, 2019


Bisa Butler. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust through the George H. and Elizabeth O. Davis Fund, 2019.45. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

A vibrantly colored and patterned quilt depicts a family in old-fashioned dress clothes. The mother and father stand in the middle, both wearing hats, the father holds a cane. The two young boys flank them.

Black Star Family, First Class Tickets to Liberia, 2018


Bisa Butler. Private collection, courtesy of William Shearburn Gallery. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

A vibrantly colored and patterned quilt depicts several people, a young boy in the center, all standing looking directly at the viewer. They wear clothes from an earlier era and carry suitcases and other belongings.

The Warmth of Other Sons, 2020


Bisa Butler. Collection of the Newark Museum of Art, Purchase 2020 Collections Exchange Fund. Image courtesy of Claire Oliver Gallery. © Bisa Butler

A vibrantly colored and patterned quilt depicts a family in old-fashioned dress clothes. The mother and father stand shoulder to shoulder with a tiny young girl tucked in front of her father's legs.

The Family, 2017


Bisa Butler. Michelle and Pete Scantland. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler


Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks
A vibrant quilt shows a man sitting with his legs crossed, looking confidently at the viewer. His figure and clothes are composed of many brilliantly colored and patterned fabrics.

I Am Not Your Negro, 2019


Bisa Butler. Claire Oliver and Ian Rubinstein. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler


Nelson Stevens
A quilt depicts a man and woman from the waist up, their heads resting together, framed by a flowered border.

Francis and Violette, 2001


Bisa Butler. Collection of Zachary Yamba. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

Vibrantly colorful fabric portrait of an African American man and woman wearing formal clothes; he wears a suit and she wears a dress with a long jacket and hat. They stand against a background of bright pink patterned fabric.

Broom Jumpers, 2019


Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Purchase with the Belle and Hy Baier Art Acquisition Fund. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

A vibrantly colored and patterned quilt depicts five people in profile in line. Four people stand, while one rest on a walker. The background is a waving USA flag with the the words, "One vote can change the world," written along the stripes of the flag.

One Vote Can Change the World, 2008


Bisa Butler. Collection of Zachary Yamba. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler


Barbara J. Jones-Hogu
Vibrantly colorful quilted portrait of a group of young black men wearing suits and hats. They stand in a line, with one boy at the front.

Southside Sunday Morning, 2018


Bisa Butler. Private collection. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

Colorful quilt depicting four African American women sitting together. They wear patterned dresses and hats and look out decisively.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 2019


Bisa Butler. Minneapolis Institute of Art, promised gift on long-term loan from a private collection. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

A vibrant quilt shows three women standing facing each talking. The figures and their clothing—dresses and hats—are composed are multiple brightly colored and variously patterned fabrics.

The Tea, 2017


Bisa Butler. Collection of Bonnie Lautenberg. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

A vibrantly colored and patterned quilt depicts a man in a three-piece suit and cap, sitting looking at the viewer. He has just lit a cigarette and holds the match in his hand.

A Man’s Worth, 2019


Bisa Butler. Private collection. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

A vibrantly colored and patterned quilt depicts four men in suits. Three are in the background in various states of movement; one in the foreground is seen from the waist up. He crosses his arms in front of his chest and his head is cocked to the side.

Les Sapeurs, 2018


Bisa Butler. Claire Oliver and Ian Rubinstein. Photo by Ian Rubinstein. © Bisa Butler

A vibrantly colored and patterned quilt depicts three young men, in a relaxed and confident poses, weight shifted on one leg and hands in their pocket. They wear fedoras or caps, pants and jackets. Two look directly at the viewer, while the man on the right is turned almost in profile looking off to the side.

The Mighty Gents, 2018


Bisa Butler. Beth Rudin DeWoody. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

A quilt of vibrant, multicolored patterned fabrics features a Black woman in a turquoise top hat and fitted waistcoat staring directly at the viewer against a purple patterned background with blue trees and the Taj Mahal.

The Equestrian, 2019


Bisa Butler. Courtesy of Love, Luck & Faith Foundation. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler


Faith Ringgold
A vibrantly colored and patterned quilt depicts three women from the hips up. The central figure looks directly at the viewer. The two women on her sides appear to be helping her in the final stages of getting dressed and adjust a shawl over her head.

Survivor, 2018


Bisa Butler. Collection of Audry X. Casusol. Photo by Margaret Fox. © Bisa Butler

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