Augusta Savage (American, 1892-1962)
hand-painted plaster, Overall: 44.50 x 24.20 x 20.40 cm (17 1/2 x 9 1/2 x 8 inches). Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2003.40
Savage was the most acclaimed sculptor working during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and ‘30s, and Gamin is her most famous work. It was long thought that the image was a generic figure; however, recent research reveals that it depicts her nephew. The warm characterization likely arises from the close bond shared between artist and model. Although several small versions of the sculpture were produced, this life-size, hand-painted plaster is unique, and likely the oldest surviving example of the subject.