This Day in Black History: Artist Betye Saar is Born

From the African American Registry

"The Liberation of Aunt Jemima" by Betye Saar

“The Liberation of Aunt Jemima” by Betye Saar

Betye Irene Saar was born on this date in 1926. She is an African-American artist and educator, famous for collages that lampoon racist attitudes about blacks and for installations featuring mystical themes.

Born Betye Irene nue Brown in Pasadena, CA, Saar studied design at the University of California at Los Angeles (B. A. 1949) and education and printmaking at California State University at Long Beach. In the early 1960s, she created etchings and intaglio, but after seeing a Joseph Cornell show in 1968, she began to expand her work from two to three dimensions, working in assemblage. She also augmented her mystical and occult themes with challenges to racist myths and stereotypes.

She also reiterated occult themes with explorations of mysticism in the digital age. Saar’s exhibitions included shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1975) and at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (1984). She collaborated in shows with two of her daughters and taught at the University of California at Los Angeles and at the Parsons-Otis Institute in Los Angeles.

Read more about Saar here.