This group of paintings represents a significant departure from Wiley’s previous subject matter by depicting African-American women, his first-ever series dedicated to female subjects. The models for the paintings were cast on the streets of New York City. Chosen by Wiley at the Louvre, Their poses are based on historical portraits of society women by Jacques-Louis David, Thomas Gainsborough and John Singer Sargent, among others. For the first time, custom-made couture gowns were created specifically for each of the models by Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy. The resulting paintings to be shown in An Economy of Grace are a celebration of black women, creating a rightful place for them within art history, which has to date been an almost exclusively white domain.