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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Black History Month Journey of Celebrating Women in the Arts: Augusta Savage

  • Augusta Savage (February 29, 1892 – March 26, 1962) was a sculptor whose works were associated with the Harlem Renaissance. In New York, she enrolled in a free art program at Cooper Union while taking in washing to make ends meet. Subsequently, she was selected to participate in a summer program in France but was denied by the French government because of her race. Savage publicized the incident and while the decision was not reversed, she did receive an offer to study with a leading sculptor, Herman Atkins MacNeil.
  • In 1934, Savage became the first African-American artist to be elected to the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors.
  • Known for her figurative sculpture and devotion to teaching younger African American artists such as Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence and Ernie Critchlow, Savage was an icon of the Harlem Renaissance and Works Progress Administration periods.

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