Spanning from the 1920s to the mid 1930s the Harlem Renaissance was a literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that kindled a new black cultural identity. The Harlem Renaissance influenced future generations of black writers, artists, musicians, and intellectuals. Many renowned black writers, artists, and musicians had help give birth to this new movement taking place. One in particular being Augusta Savage. She was an African American artist and arts educator.
She was born Augusta Christine Fells on February 29, 1892,in Green Cove Springs, Florida. As a child began to make art by using the natural clay found in her community. She would sculpt animals and other small ...view middle of the document...
Her story made headlines in many newspapers across the state. But despite her best efforts, the committee still did not change their minds. Although she was highly disappointed, She managed to find success in other areas.
As time went on Savage started to become widely recognized as a great portrait sculptor. Her works included portraits of other great Harlem Renaissance leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey. She was then considered to be one of the leading artists of the Harlem Renaissance due to her wonderful talent as a sculptor. Later on she got the chance she wanted to study abroad to which she jumped at the opportunity to do so.
In 1929 Augusta Savage won a Julius Rosenwald fellowship award. She won based on her sculpture of her nephew. The sculpture was titled "Gamin." Critics said the work depicted lifelike vitality of an adorable young street child. After recieving the award she then spent time in Paris, France. There she continued to find support for her work and after she completed an exhibit at the Grand Palais she won her second fellowship which allowed her to continue her studies for another year. Within the year she obtained another grant which allowed her to travel ti other places in Europe.
In 1932 she returned to the United States. At this time the United States was going through the Great Depression in which many americans were jobless. With portrait commisions being hard to come by, Savage began teaching art. She would then establish the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts. She helped many young African American artists. Which included Jacob Lawrence and Norman Lewis, two Harlem Renaissance artists. She also joined the Works Projects Administration(WPA) in order to help African American artists find work during that time of financial crisis. She then founded the Harlem Artists' Guild. This led to a directorial position at the WPA's Harlem Community Center, which offered art instruction for all kinds of students.
In 1939 now highly regarded as a great artist, Savage was commissioned to create a sculpture for the 1939 New York World's Fair. She then sculpted "The Harp," which was inspired by the lyrics to poem "Lift Every Voice and Sing."...