Augusta Savage

Sculptor Augusta Savage and her work: Photographed in Harlem. 1938.

(photo: Andrew Herman)

Augusta Savage, who was born in Green Cove Springs, Florida in 1892, began molding clay at an early age. Despite great opposition from her family, Savage was determined to pursue a career in the arts as a sculptor. She moved to New York to study at Cooper Union, where she was soon commissioned to create a portrait bust of W.E.B. Du Bois and other African American leaders including Marcus Garvey. In 1924 the sculpture of her nephew, Gamin, won the Julius Rosenwald Fellowship which gave her the opportunity to study in Paris for one year. After returning home from Europe, Savage shared her art and experiences through teaching in the Harlem community. In 1932, Augusta established the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts to provide adult art education. She also later became the first director of the Harlem Community Arts Center, where she played a crucial role in the development of young African American artists. This art center became a model for others across the country, including Chicago’s Southside Community Art Center.

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Via Positive Black Stories. By Heru G. Duenas

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