After going to Green Cove Springs, Florida (Savage’s birthplace), I went to New York City to research her life there.
A statue done by Augusta Savage in the 1930s to show how slaves felt when they realized there was no good future for them. This work, along with many of her other works, cannot be found.
This is the road to the house Augusta lived in when she left New York City. Here is the road sign that the community chose to replace the one that originally said “Nigger Road. (After a while one of the g’s was taken out to make the sign look like NIG ER Road). Augusta Savage was well-received in Saugerties when she came in the 1940s. However, she chose to spend most of her time tending her little farm, taking notes at a laboratory, and visiting with the neighbor children. She did about seven works of art in Saugerties but left the art world for the most part…while only in mid-life.
Karlyn Knaust Elia and Dick Duncan purchased the house and are restoring it with tender loving care.
Savage went here in her forties, possibly at the peak of her career. People asked “Why?’ She left her NYC apartment with electricity and plumbing to inhabit a house that used an outhouse and a pump at the sink.
Mural at the Harlem Hospital-When Augusta was in charge of the WPA art program in the 1930s, her artists did murals for this community hospital. They had difficulty getting the mural approved, because it showed black people in professions, like the nurse and doctors.
The owner knew as much as could be known about Augusta Savage seeing as how she was born here about 125 years ago, and being the child of former slaves, no one anticipated that she would be famous someday.
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