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Women Artists of the Harlem Renaissance$
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Amy Helene Kirschke

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460339

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460339.001.0001

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May Howard Jackson, Beulah Ecton Woodard, and Selma Burke

May Howard Jackson, Beulah Ecton Woodard, and Selma Burke

(p.115) Chapter Five May Howard Jackson, Beulah Ecton Woodard, and Selma Burke
Women Artists of the Harlem Renaissance

Lisa E. Farrington

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter deals with the contributions of May Howard Jackson, Beulah Ecton Woodard, and Selma Burke to the weltzensang of the Jazz Age. Jackson (1877–1931) attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She was the first African American to attend the academy. Woodward (1895–1955) enrolled in her thirties in painting and sculpture courses at the University of Southern California and the Otis Art Institute. She studied with Peter David Edstrom, one of the founders of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Burkes (1900–1995) attended Winston-Salem State University and St. Agnes School of Nursing where she became a registered nurse. With a nursing career to depend on, she was well positioned in the 1930s to take her place in the “Talented Tenth” of Harlem. These three women had very different career paths and successes. Jackson did not do well financially as an artist, Woodard exceeded most expectations when she became the first African American to exhibit her work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Burke became famous when she won a national competition to sculpt a portrait of President Franklin Roosevelt, which later became a model for the president's portrait on the dime. Though the full details of their lives are a bit sketchy, these three women artists left a legacies of individuality, tenacity, and creativity and they were able to balance gender, race, and personal identity.

Keywords:   Jazz Age, sculpture, painting, Peter David Edstrom, Franklin Roosevelt

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