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Selma Burke


Selma Burke

Did you know that Selma Burke sculpted the image on dime? Well, so far historians and biographers have been at odds with the facts. Burke, however, stated adamantly, from then until her death in 1995, that the design was hers. “I’m so mad at that man,” she said of Sinnock during an interview in 1994. Still, Burke remained adamant: “Everybody knows I did it. This has happened to so many black people.”

“Even if we can never prove that this actually was Burke’s image, the fact that this black woman has been able to create immortality for herself because of her art-making is so profound,” Marshall says. “She was able to get this president to sit for her. She made herself a player through her art and left little Mooresville, North Carolina. And somehow, by the end of her life, she is connected to the dime.” -Monét Noelle Marshall. Article by Jeremy Markovich

https://www.ourstate.com/artist-selma-burkes-1943-presidential-portrait-mightve-inspired-dime-design/

Selma Burke was one of the most distinguished African-American sculptors of the 20th Century. She worked figuratively in brass, stone and wood, especially nudes and historical figures.

It is fitting to note that Selma Burke’s commitment to art and teaching was her legacy. She overcame obstacles and never blinked when adversity looked her in the eye. Burke also received many honorary degrees and awards.


“There have always been black artists creating their way out. That gives me hope.”

*I don’t own rights to this music*

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