In honor of Black History Month, I want to share some of my favorite Black women artists. These gifted creators established themselves during a time when most Black women were relegated to the roles of maid, cook, or caretaker. I love that these women dared to share their gifts and provide a diverse representation of Black womanhood.
Because I’m a geek for 3-dimensional art, I’m focusing on Black women that created sculptures. At one point, I was interested in sculpting as a profession: I even competed in art contests (and won a prize to boot!) So today, I’ll provide a list of notable Black sculptresses and then I’ll include some photos of their most famous works. There are literally too many of them to write mini-bios for each, but please take the time to check out a few of them. Their stories and their works are fascinating.
Here are some of my favorite works by a couple of the artists above (I’m skipping Edmonia Lewis because I featured her in my Current Favorite App post, that I’m sure you all read and enjoyed):
George Washington Carver, by Tina Allen (In the Missouri Botanical Garden)
Bust of an Ethiopian Woman by Tina Allen
Sojourner Truth by Ruth Inge Harrison
Maudelle by Beulah Woodard (1937-1938)
The Talking Skull by Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1939)
If I left out any Black women sculptors that you think should be added to the list, let me know in the comments below! I’d love for this to be a comprehensive list with lots of good links to information on how Black women have contributed to the world of sculpture.