Alice Neel received her first museum retrospective in 1974 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Since then, Neel’s captivating portraits have been the subject of numerous exhibitions and publications, including the recently concluded Alice Neel: People Come First at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. As this exhibition’s title suggests, Neel’s artistic practice reflected her fundamental interest in humanity. She set out to capture not just a person’s likeness, but their character. However, beyond each subject’s unique individuality, Neel’s portraits have long been regarded as reflections of the communities of which she was a part. Why, then, do studies of Neel to date almost universally overlook her participation in the Alliance of Figurative Artists during the crucial decade of the 1970s?