Portrait bust of Harriet Tubman from Inge Haridson's "Negro Giants in History" series. Harriet Tubman (1820/21-1913) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. After escaping from slavery, she made thirteen perilous missions to rescue more than 70 slaves using the Underground Railroad. After the Civil War, she fought for women's suffrage. Tubman stated, "I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other."
In seeing the need for heroes in today's world, Inge Hardison (1904-) created the series of sculpted portraits titled, "Negro Giants in History," for which she is best known today. The mantle-size busts were a response to the omission of Black Americans in the national Hall of Fame in Washington DC.
Born in Portsmouth, Virginia Ms. Hardison attended Tennessee A&I University, Vassar College, and the Arts Students League during the 1930’s. Haridson created a 24 inch portrait of Sojourner Truth, which was presented to Nelson Mandela in 1990.
Ms. Haridson, still creating her sculpted portraits in her Harlem apartment has said, “During my long life I have enjoyed using different ways to distill the essences of my experiences so as to share for the good they might do in the lives of others.”
The Robbins Center Collection, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, gift of The Robbins Center For Cross Cultural Communication, in memory of Warren M. Robbins