Augusta Savage

Augusta Savage (born Augusta Christine Fells; February 29, 1892 – March 27, 1962) was an American sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance.[2] She was also a teacher whose studio was important to the careers of a generation of artists who would become nationally known. She worked for equal rights for African Americans in the arts.[3]

“Augusta Savage.” Wikipedia, Accessed 29 Oct. 2021.

The Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater, and politics centered in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, spanning the 1920s and 1930s.

“Harlem Renaissance.” Wikipedia, Accessed 29 Oct. 2021.

Savage, Augusta. Gamin. Sculpture. 1929.
via the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Augusta Savage: African American sculptor

Augusta Savage is best known for the piece that was commissioned for the 1939 New York World’s Fair calledLift Every Voice and Sing.”

Artist Augusta Savage and the Tragic Story of Her Lost Masterwork

An estimated 44 million people attended the 1939 New York World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, and witnessed its vision for a shimmering, Art Deco “World of Tomorrow.” Some five million of those visitors got a chance to behold Lift Every Voice and Sing.

Many people are surprised to learn that “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was first written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson. Today “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is one of the most cherished songs of the African American Civil Rights Movement and is often referred to as the Black National Anthem.

Lift Every Voice and Sing

Lift Every Voice and Sing | The Poem and Song | Black History | PBS

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” was performed for the first time as a poem by 500 school children on February 12, 1900 in Jacksonville, FL. It was set to music and adopted by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as its official song.

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