Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman is the first exhibition to reassess Harlem Renaissance artist Augusta Savage’s contributions to art and cultural history in light of twenty-first-century attention to the concept of the artist-activist. A gifted sculptor, Savage (1892 – 1962) became a significant teacher, leader, and catalyst for change. Overcoming poverty, racism, and sexual discrimination, she became one of this country’s most influential artists of the twentieth century, playing an instrumental role in the development of some of the most celebrated African American artists.
A central figure in the Harlem Renaissance, Savage worked with other leaders, writers, musicians, and artists to showcase the contributions of African American culture. As a community organizer and teacher, she created a bridge between the first generation of Harlem Renaissance artists and the subsequent generation. Selma Burke, whose work was included in the exhibition, was recruited by Savage to teach at the Harlem Community Arts Center. Savage’s influence inspired Burke to found the Selma Burke Art School in New York and the Selma Burke Art Center in Pittsburgh.
Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman was curated by Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D.