Selma Burke

Sculptor, Selma Burke, from Mooresville, North Carolina, earned a BA from Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, an MFA from Columbia University in New York, and a Ph.D. from Livingston College in Salisbury, North Carolina. Burke had solo exhibitions at Princeton University in New Jersey and the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, among other venues. Her work is held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and The Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1979, she was awarded the Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award. A prolific artist during the Harlem Renaissance, Burke is known for being the original designer of the American dime after completing a relief portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. She described herself as being “a people’s sculptor” and created many pieces of public art and often portraits of prominent African-American figures.

Artist Info


December 31 1900

Mooresville, NC


August 29 1995

New Hope, PA






African American