Jacksonville Public Library Has Huge Win with Augusta Savage Sculpture Discovery

Augusta Savage Unveiling: The sculpture will be on permanent display on the 4th floor at Jacksonville Public Library // Photo by Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville

Augusta Savage Sculpture, Photo by Jacksonville Public Library
Photo from Jacksonville Public Library

HISTORICAL NEW WORKS FOR THE SPECIAL COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT OF THE MAIN LIBRARY

The Jacksonville Public Library recently learned that a sculpture it has owned for some years is the work of well-known African-American artist Augusta Savage. Earlier this year with the help of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, the library had the opportunity to have the small-scale, painted terra cotta female bust appraised and authenticated. As a result, the sculpture of unknown title, which is signed by the artist, is confirmed to have been created by Augusta Savage.

Augusta Savage Unveiling at Jacksonville Public Library // Photo by Tony Allegretti
Augusta Savage Unveiling: The sculpture will be on permanent display on the 4th floor at Jacksonville Public Library // Photo by Tony Allegretti

The library is very pleased to place this work of art on permanent display in the Special Collections Department of the Main Library, which comprises the Florida, African-American, Genealogy and Ansbacher Maps Collections. Savage was born in Green Cove Springs, Florida, and lived in Jacksonville before moving to New York to pursue her art career.

Meet Augusta Savage

Savage was a teacher first and foremost. She can be thanked for leaving a legacy of art education in Harlem. Born in Green Cove Springs, Florida she started working with clay from her hometown brick-makers. She could not afford to cast her pieces in bronze, one of the reasons why there are few surviving sculptures. Her art was eventually recognized and she made her way up to New York, passing through Cooper Union. During the Depression she started teaching kids art in her studio. Years later that became the Harlem Community Arts Center which served local children for years. Today it is called Harlem Arts Alliance.

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october, 2021

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