Augusta Savage Research
Augusta Savage was born on February 29th, 1892 in Green Cove Springs, Florida. She developed a love for sculpting at a young age. Being born into a Methodists Family, her father disapproved of her sculpture, believing that they were Pagan. For the duration of her childhood her religious family suppressed her, but she followed the Great Migration and found sanctuary in 1921 in New York. She was looking for recognition and inspiration along with the resources to pursue professional art education after many failed attempts in the South. She received free art education at Cooper Union while working as a washwoman.
She gravitated to Harlem, and quickly established herself among the many great artists of the renaissance. She often sculpted figures that represented her life in the south and her struggle as a Black Woman. She went on to do portrait sculptures of leaders of the Harlem Renaissance such as W.E.B. Dubois, Langston Hughes and many others. She was viewed as an esteemed portrait sculptor and was able to create her own school for the craft in Harlem. In 1929 her sculpture Gamin won her the Julius Rosenwald Fellowship scholarship to Paris to study for one year (www.northbysouth.kenyon.edu). Upon her return she was eager to share her artistic experiences with Harlem. She established the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts in 1932 on 163 West 143rd Street. The Work Progress Association (WPA) cofounded this. She took the position as Director of the Harlem Community Arts Center in 1937 (www.blackhistorypages.net). She went on to become a part of the artist group "306", along with Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence and many other artists. One of her more famous pieces was The Harp, created in 1939 and inspired by a song created by James Weldon Jason called "Lift Every Voice and Sing".
Highlighting racial bias and the identification of Race, she sculpted the life stories of the African American community, and displayed the struggles that...
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