Selma Burke

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Date of Birth December 31, 1900
Place of Birth Mooresville, North Carolina
Date of Death Aug 29, 1995 (94)
Horoscope Capricorn

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Selma Burke

Selma Hortense Burke was an American sculptor and a member of the Harlem Renaissance movement. Burke is best known for a bas relief portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt that inspired the profile found on the obverse of the dime. She described herself as "a people's sculptor" and created many pieces of public art, often portraits of prominent African-American figures like Duke Ellington, Mary McLeod Bethune and Booker T. Washington. In 1979, she was awarded the Women's Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award.

Born: Selma Hortense Burke, December 31, 1900, Mooresville, North Carolina, United States
Died: August 29, 1995
Nationality: American
Education: Columbia University
Known for: Sculpture
Awards: Women's Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award, 1979

About Selma Burke

American sculptor who founded two art schools in New York and Pennsylvania and is well known for her relief of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Before Fame

She graduated from the St. Agnes Training School for Nurses in Raleigh in 1924.


She is an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

Family Life

She was born into a farming family and her father was an AME Church Zion Minister.


Her last monumental work was a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1980.

Information related to Selma Burke

  • African-American sculptors
  • Delta Sigma Theta members
  • Artists from Pittsburgh
  • Federal Art Project artists
  • Columbia University School of the Arts alumni
  • American women sculptors
  • African-American artists
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Latest information about Selma Burke updated on October 30, 2020.

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