The Dixon Gallery and Gardens welcomes Augusta Savage's 'Gamin' on January 19 through March 23. Celebrating the Dixon's recent acquisition of the landmark sculpture, the exhibition looks at Savage and 'Gamin' and their place in the larger context of early twentieth century African-American art.
Surrounded by works from notable artists in The Horseman Collection, including Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, and Bob Thompson, Savage's 'Gamin' reveals the emotions, history, and politics that informed Savage's work and that of her contemporaries.
The exhibition presents the work of African-American artists from the twentieth century who experimented with a range of subjects and styles in ways that express the diversity and vitality of African American art and identity. Although centered in Harlem, the spirit of the cultural movement found expression in cities and art centers across America from the 1920s onward. Figures such as Savage inspired African-American artists to find their artistic voice in ways that often celebrated the African American experience.
'Gamin' was a breakthrough work for Savage in 1929. On the strength of the sculpture, art patrons in New York contributed to the expense of sending her to Europe for additional study. Savage is part of an important lineage of American artists who sought experience and education in Europe, including a number who are already represented in the Dixon's permanent collection: Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, Maurice Prendergast and Theodore Butler.
'Gamin' is also a breakthrough work for the Dixon. It is the first acquisition from an African-American artist and adds to the Dixon's collection of works by women and sculptors.
The exhibition – sponsored by the Horseman Foundation for American Art – will be on view through March 23. 'Gamin' will remain on view in the residence with other Dixon masterpieces of the nineteenth and twentieth century.