Augusta Savage A'25 and Icons of the Harlem Renaissance

Monday, May 13, 2019, 6:30 - 8pm

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Augusta Savage posing with her sculpture Realization, created as part of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project. ca. 1938. Photo by Andrew Herman

Augusta Savage posing with her sculpture Realization, created as part of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project. ca. 1938. Photo by Andrew Herman

Art historians, curators, and artists will discuss the life and work of 1925 School of Art alumna and sculptor Augusta Savage (1892-1962). Dr. Theresa Leininger-Miller, author of New Negro Artists in Paris: African American Painters and Sculptors in the City of Light, 1922-1934, presents an illustrated lecture on the two best known works by Savage, Gamin and Lift Every Voice and Sing (1939). Wendy N. E. Ikemoto, Associate Curator of American Art at the New-York Historical Society (NYHS), discusses Savage’s work in light of the NYHS exhibition Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman (May 3 through July 28, 2019) and NYHS’s work exploring the history of identity, race, and civil rights in America, and highlighting overlooked historical women. Nana Adusei-Poku, adjunct instructor in the School of Art and visiting professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, will present a talk titled "Notes on Lessons and Losses, Augusta Savage - 'The Sanctuary of Industry and Dreams'". The three will then engage in a conversation on Savage’s lasting legacy moderated by Leslie Hewitt, assistant professor in the School of Art, and Raffaele Bedarida, assistant professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Please note seating is on a first come basis; an RSVP does not guarantee admission as we generally overbook to ensure a full house.

Theresa Leininger-Miller is Professor of Art History at the University of Cincinnati where she teaches African American art and 19th-21st-century American and European art. Her other publications include chapters in Women Artists of the Harlem Renaissance, The Modern Woman Revisited: Paris Between the War, and more, as well as essays in Deborah Grant: Christ You Know It Ain’t Easy, Harlem Renaissance, Black Paris, and more. Awards and fellowships include those from the National Endowment for the Humanities; Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center; Society for the Preservation of American Modernists; Kress; Henry R. Luce; Smithsonian Institution (twice); and Sorbonne University, Paris. She earned her Ph.D. at Yale University.

In addition to serving as organizing curator for Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman (2019), Wendy N. E. Ikemoto has served as organizing curator for Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms (2018), Betye Saar: Keepin’ It Clean (2018-19), and Bettina von Zwehl: Meditations in an Emergency (2018-19), and as curator for Panoramic Perspectives (2019-20). Her upcoming exhibition John Quidor: New York Stories (2021-22) will mark the artist’s first monographic exhibition since 1973. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Stanford University and Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University. Her publications include Antebellum American Pendant Paintings: New Ways of Looking and articles in American Art and The Burlington Magazine.

Nana Adusei-Poku, Ph.D., is Visiting Professor in Art History of the African Diaspora at The Cooper Union. She held the position Research Professor for Cultural Diversity from 2013-2014 and then for Visual Cultures 2015-2017 at the Hogeschool Rotterdam with affiliation to the Piet Zwart Institute and the Willem de Kooning Academy and was Guest Lecturer in Media Arts and Master Fine Arts at the University of the Arts, Zurich from 2012-2018. Publications include i.e. “On Being Present Where You Wish to Disappear,” in e-flux , which questions the notion of nothingness, universality, and whiteness common in the contemporary art world and the forthcoming article Black Performance- Innenschau//und Aushalten in Kunstforum International. She also curated the event Performances of No-thingness at the Academy of Arts Berlin in 2018 and the upcoming program, Longing on a Large Scale, in conjunction with Todd Gray's Exhibition Eucledian Gris Gris at Pomona College Museum of Art, which starts in September 2019 and will run until May 2020.

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