Selma Burke | 2nd Annual Digital Black History Month Education Campaign (Day XX)

We are pleased to share day XX of 540’s 2nd Annual Digital Black History Month Education Campaign

Selma Burke | Artist & Sculptor

  • Name: Selma Burke
  • Date of Birth: December 31, 1900
  • Date of Death: August 29, 1995
  • Place of Birth: Mooresville, North Carolina
  • Education: Winston-Salem Univ., B.A., c. 1922; St. Augustine Coll., R.N., 1924; Columbia Univ., M.F.A., 1941; Livingston Coll., Ph.D. 1970.

Accomplishments

  • Worked as a teacher, model, and nurse
  • The first black sculptor to design a United States coin
  • Established the Selma Burke Art School in New York City in 1946
  • Opened the Selma Burke Art Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.

About Selma Burke

Selma Burke was born on December 31, 1900, in MooresvilleNorth Carolina, the seventh of 10 children of Neil and Mary Colfield Burke. As a child Burke’s interest in sculpting arose from her weekly Saturday whitewashing chores with a wash made of local clay. She discovered to her delight, that it could be molded into various whimsical shapes.  When she was a child, Selma would mold the soft clay of the riverbanks into small figures. In the 1920s, Burke became one of the few African American women to achieve fame during the Harlem Renaissance, which brought many black male artists and writers to the nation’s attention. She later taught at the Harlem Community Art Center and founded the Selma Burke Art School in New York City and the Selma Burke Art Center in Pittsburgh. Burke is most famous for her 1944 relief Franklin Delano Roosevelt, which inspired the Roosevelt dime.

“Selma Burke became one of the few African American women to achieve fame during the Harlem Renaissance”

About the Campaign

Every day throughout the month of February 540Blog will devote space to sharing Little Known Facts About Black Americans Throughout History. For us every month is Black History Month but we recognize and support the continuous need to take time and space to put a special spotlight on the accomplishments of Black and brown Americans from all ethnicities that have literally changed the course of history and yet have legacies that are not know by the masses.

Sources

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Encyclopedia.com
  3. Smithsonian American Art Museum 
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