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IMA Acquires ‘Gamin’ by Augusta Savage

The Museum just acquired a sculpture by Augusta Savage titled Gamin. Why would I recommend this piece for museum purchase? The main reason, of course, is because it is a great work of art. It is the first piece by an African American woman artist to be acquired by the American collection. African American women artists were rare before 1945 and the availability of their work even rarer. The Museum was fortunate to be offered the most famous sculpture created by this very important Harlem Renaissance sculptor. In fact, for people who know Augusta Savage, the mention of her name immediately brings to mind an image of Gamin. The word means street urchin and the sculpture was meant to represent the young African American men who roamed the streets of Harlem and to give them racial pride and dignity.

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Rotation, Reinstallation, Renovation in IMA’s American Galleries

Welcome our newest addition to the IMA Blogger list, Harriet Warkel, Curator of American Art.

The American galleries are changing. At least a part of these spaces will look different after July 14. We are always rotating works in the galleries, sometimes reinstalling the entire galleries incorporating different pieces, and even renovating galleries by changing the position of walls and painting them different colors or repainting them the same color when they look like they need it. We are rotating, reinstalling and renovating part of the American galleries on July 14.

A work in the American Modernist section of the galleries is going out on loan and another painting is going up to replace it – this is a rotation.

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About Harriet Warkel

Job Title: Curator, American Painting and Sculpture

Interests: Exercise and dancing

Favorite Movies: I’m not a fan of movies.

Favorite Music: I love anything fast with a fast dance beat, but I also like “My Heart Will Go On” from the movie Titanic.

Favorite Food: The Saigon is my favorite restaurant, Goodfellows is second. So it’s not a particular food but a particular style of cooking.

Pets: None. When I was young I had fish, parakeets, canaries and a dog, which we returned to store because he had untreatable fleas. After I married, we had fish. I should have learned that fish did not survive under my care. We also had a toad that lived a long and happy life.

Something you should know about me: I never liked art when I was growing up. I would cringe when my art teacher looked at my drawings and whine when my class went to an art museum. Not until I married did my husband’s interest in art intrigue me enough to earn a degree in art history.

Harriet has written 12 articles for us.