Augusta Savage, Portrait of John Henry, c. 1940, patinated plaster, 6 5/8 x 3 ½ x 4 ¾ inches. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The John Axelrod Collection—Frank B. Bemis Fund, Charles H. Bayley Fund, and The Heritage Fund for a Diverse Collection, 2011.1813.
Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman
August 24–December 8, 2019
Featuring nearly fifty works of art, including sculptures, paintings, and works on paper, this exhibition will be the first to reassess Harlem Renaissance artist Augusta Savage’s contributions to art and cultural history in light of her role as an artist-activist. A gifted sculptor, Savage (1892–1962) later became a significant teacher, leader, and catalyst for change. Overcoming poverty, racism, and sexual discrimination, Savage became one of this country’s most influential artists of the twentieth century, playing an instrumental role in the development of many celebrated African American artists, including William Artis, Romare Bearden, Gwendolyn Bennett, Robert Blackburn, Gwendolyn Knight, Jacob Lawrence, and Norman Lewis, whose works are also included in the exhibition. A prodigious and highly acclaimed artist in her own right, she created works that elevated images of black culture into mainstream America.
This exhibition is curated by Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D. and organized by the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sotheby's Prize.