Augusta Savage: Sacrifice, Social Responsibility, and Early African American Art Education

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5 Scopus citations


While establishing herself as one of the premier African American sculptors of the 1920s, Augusta Savage began teaching children’s art classes in her basement studio. Later, as the Director of the Harlem Community Art Center, Savage networked with philanthropists, political leaders, and African American artists/performers/writers to discuss how their collective efforts might increase support for artists of color during the Great Depression. Despite challenges associated with racial/gender inequalities, Savage taught some of the most noteworthy African American artists of the 20th century. Although there are numerous studies covering artists of the New Negro Movement, few focus on the concurrent legacy of African American art education. This study discusses the conditions that seemingly hindered Savage as a professional sculptor but defined her as an activist/educator. It additionally examines Savage’s efforts to facilitate opportunities for a future generation with a specific focus on her political agency/social responsibility to African Americans in the 1930s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-140
Number of pages16
JournalStudies in Art Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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