Barbara Chase-Riboud is both an internationally acclaimed visual artist, award-winning poet and bestselling novelist.
Chase-Riboud attained international recognition with the publication of her first novel, Sally Hemings, in 1979. The novel has been described as the "first full blown imagining" of Hemings' life as a slave and her relationship with Jefferson. In addition to stimulating considerable controversy, the book earned Chase-Riboud the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for the best novel written by an American woman and sold more than one million copies in hardcover. She has received numerous honors for her work, including the Carl Sandburg Prize for poetry and the Women's Caucus for Art's lifetime achievement award. In 1965, she became the first American woman to visit the People's Republic of China after the revolution. In 1996, she was knighted by the French Government and received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art presented beginning September 12, 2013 to January 28, 2014 a survey of her iconic Malcolm X steles, created between 1969-2008; Barbara Chase-Riboud: The Malcolm X Steleswhich will travel to the Berkeley Museum in 12th of February - 28th of April 2014. Her anthology of poetry from 1974 - 2008 is under press as well as her collected letters. This exhibition of some 40 works has an illustrated catalogue edited by Carlos Basualdo containing an extensive and new chronology of the artist.