Redefining Redlining is an installation by Amanda Williams, in which volunteers planted 100,000 red tulips that mimicked the footprint of 21 homes that formerly occupied the site of numerous vacant parcels in Chicago’s Washington Park neighborhood. Redefining Redlining makes visible the detrimental impact of redlining while simultaneously inspiring ideas about who and what can reinfuse joy, beauty and value into black neighborhoods.
Amanda Williams is a visual artist who trained as an architect. Her creative practice employs color and architecture to explore the intersection of race and the built environment. Her works visualize the ways urban planning, zoning, development, and disinvestment impact the lives of everyday residents, particularly in African American communities. Williams has recently been recognized as a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Class of 2022. In addition, she has been recognized as a Joan Mitchell Foundation grantee, a USA Ford Fellow, an Efroymson Arts Fellow, and a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow. Her work is in several permanent collections including the Art Institute of Chicago and the MoMA (NY). She was recently awarded the 2022 Public Art Dialogue (PAD) Award for achievement in the field of public art. Williams lives and works on the south side of Chicago.
MacArthur Fellow, Class of 2022
Redlining is defined by Oxford Languages (Dictionary) as, “to refuse (a loan or insurance) to someone because they live in an area deemed to be a poor financial risk.”
"banks have redlined loans to buyers"
The University of Richmond has created an extensive database called Mapping Inequality of the Home Owners Loan Corporation maps. To see maps of city neighborhoods’ credit-worthiness created during the 1930s New Deal as part of a government-insured mortgage program, click here.
HISTORY OF TULIPS
Both Smithsonian Magazine and the Library of Congress offer insight into the history of tulips and their commanding high value during a period of time referred to as Tulip Mania.
“Originally found growing wild in the valleys of the Tien Shan Mountains (at the border where China and Tibet meet Afghanistan and Russia), tulips were cultivated in Istanbul as early as 1055…Tulips were among the most prized flowers, eventually becoming a symbol of the Ottomans.
The Dutch learned that tulips could be grown from seeds or buds that grew on the mother bulb; a bulb that grows from seed would take 7 to 12 years before flowering, but a bulb itself could flower the very next year. Of particular interest…were “broken bulbs”—tulips whose petals showed a striped, multicolor pattern rather than a single solid color.
The effect was unpredictable, but the growing demand for these rare, “broken bulb” tulips led naturalists to study ways to reproduce them. The high market price for tulips to which the current version of tulipmania refers were prices for particularly beautiful broken bulbs…since breaking was unpredictable, some have characterized tulipmania among growers as a gamble, with growers vying to produce better and more bizarre variegations and feathering.” —Smithsonian Magazine
“Tulip Mania (Tulipomania) occurred in Holland during the Dutch Golden Age and has long been considered the first recorded speculative or asset bubble.
When the tulip was introduced, it immediately became a popular status symbol for the wealthy and the growing middle class… Speculation drove the value of tulip bulbs to extremes and in 1634, tulip mania swept through the country [Netherlands]. After a few years the frenzy died down, and by February 1637, prices began to decline. By 1638 prices leveled off.
More recently some modern scholars have begun to reevaluate long held assumptions including the idea that this was truly a bubble. There was a frantic tulip trade where people did pay incredibly high prices for some bulbs, and the price of bulbs did collapse.” —Library of Congress