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C*LTURE: Augusta Savage

“The Harp,” 1939

Augusta Savage was a sculptor, educator and activist. Her art challenged the negative stereotypes and depictions of black people during the 1920s and '30s. Augusta created several sculptures, including W.E.B Du Bois and Marcus Garvey.

In 1923, Augusta won a scholarship to study at a Fine Arts School in France, after learning she was black the French government retracted her admission. Friends in Harlem, such as WEB Du Bois, wrote letters on her behalf to fight for her place.

Later she was offered another scholarship at an academy in Rome and eventually studied in Paris as part of a prestigious fellowship. When she returned to America, she founded the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts, her own art studio and school in Harlem. This school became a opportunity and space for black artists. Her studio taught well-known artists of the Harlem Renaissance.

Most of Augusta's artwork no longer exists today, it has either been destroyed or lost. Augusta Savage passed away in 1962, she will be remembered as a influential black woman, artist and activist.


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