Augusta Savage (American, 1892–1962)
9 x 5 3/4 x 4 1/4 in. (22.86 x 14.61 x 10.8 cm)
Gift of halley k harrisburg, Class of 1990, and Michael Rosenfeld, 2020.52. Artwork in the public domain.
An artist and educator, Augusta Savage was one of the leading figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Her sculptures often treated Black subjects and physiognomy with great sensitivity, countering mainstream representations of African Americans during the 1920s and ‘30s. Savage took meticulous care in sculpting this bust of a young child, dressed in a wrinkled shirt and flat cap. Created in 1929, Savage’s Gamin garnered acclaim and earned the artist a fellowship that enabled her to study for two years in Paris. This painted sculpture embodies the spirit of Savage’s works in that it represents the dignity of African Americans that many Black artists sought to promote during this period. Harlem and its community were a great source of inspiration for Black artists, and Savage dedicated her life to training emerging African American artists and creating opportunities for them to showcase their work.