Francine Haskins was born 1947 in Washington, DC. She is a mixed-media artist, fiber artist, doll maker, quilter, author/illustrator, teacher and storyteller. Francine graduated from the Corcoran School of Art (Advertising Design) and trained at Catholic University in oil painting and the Smithsonian Associate Program in fabric design.
Haskins began her art career at “The New Thing” Art and Architecture center as a graphic artist. Later she shifted to a retail career at Garfinkel’s Department Store (in the Buying Office) that laid down the foundation for her becoming an “independent” artist. She quickly became outstanding in the artists’ trade shows from the Black Memorabilia and Doll Shows, to the great Black Arts Festival in Atlanta Georgia, to the Smithsonian’s Folklife festival. Her work was not only very distinctive and original but her professional flavor from the retail sector set her apart from all other fine arts craftspeople.
Francine has exhibited widely in museums and galleries across the United States and has been part of numerous panels on folk art and folklore. She is one the founding members of the legendary 1800 Belmont Arts (Arts collective). Haskins is renowned for her quilts, soft sculpture dolls, note cards, and wearable art but it is her children’s books, I Remember 121 and Things I like about Grandma, that have brought her the broadest amount of fame—allowing her work to delight children and adults alike. Currently she continues to explore and evolve creatively. Her work is featured in the Museum Shop at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).