American, b. 1892-1962
Augusta Savage studied in New York City and gained a reputation as a portraitist of the Negro Renaissance leaders. She went to Paris on a Rosenwald Foundation fellowship that enabled her to continue her studies. She return to the United States in 1934 and became the first African American woman to be elected to the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. In 1937, she became the first African American artist to be selected for a commission to design a piece for the New York World’s Fair. She designed a very large work based on James Weldon Johnson’s poem Lift Every Voice and Sing that was design to pay tribute to African American contributions to music. Savage would go on to become director of Harlem Commounity Arts Centre under the auspices of the WPA. She was also an ardent supporter and mentor to rising African American artists.