If you have ever looked at the face on a dime, you probably know that it is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. What you may not know is that Selma Burke (1900 – 1995), a professional sculptor and art educator of the Harlem Renaissance, created the likeness of the former president that inspired the dime’s image.
Artist Gwendolyn Knight (1913 – 2005) was born in Barbados and grew up in New York. She attended Howard University where she studied with painter Loïs Mailou Jones (1905 – 1998). Knight had to leave school when the Great Depression hit. When she returned to New York, she studied with Augusta Savage, taught in Savage’s studio, and developed a friendship with the sculptor. The bronze portrait of Knight is a beautiful rendering of the young artist. Fellow artist Jacob Lawrence (1917 – 2000), Knight’s husband, who she met at Savage’s studio, said of the work, “I think of all of Augusta’s work this is surely one of the most resolved pieces plastically.”
Augusta Savage (1892-1962) was an internationally renowned African American sculptor in the 1920s and 1930s. Born in Green Cove Springs, Florida she and her family moved to West Palm Beach. In 1919, she entered the West Palm Beach County Fair, and her work was awarded a special prize.
Born in Green Cove Springs, Florida, Augusta Savage (1892 – 1962) is considered one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century, and the first African American elected to the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors.
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