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Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 7,000
AUGUSTA SAVAGE (1892 - 1962) Lift Every Voice and Sing.
White metal cast with black patina, circa 1939. Approximately 270x240x100 mm; 10 3/4x9 1/2x4 inches. Incised signature and "Worlds Fair 1939" at the base. Published by Augusta Savage Studios, Inc., New York, with her printed paper label on the base.
Provenance: The estate of William Watson Hines III, New York.
A life-size version of Lift Every Voice and Sing was commissioned by the 1939 New York World's Fair committee in 1937. Augusta Savage left the WPA to work on this monumental project, inspired by James Weldon and Rosamund Johnson's anthem Lift Every Voice. Sadly, the original work was destroyed when the Fair was over, but a number of these smaller, souvenir versions were cast. When the commission was finished, Savage was left unemployed and destitute - she was forced to give up her career as an artist. In the mid 1940s, Savage lived a reclusive life in Saugerties, New York, where she began to explore her interest in writing. In 1962, Savage returned to New York City and died of cancer later that same year.