Portrait bust of Dr. Charles Drew from Inge Haridson's "Ingenius Americans" series.
Dr. Charles Drew (1905-1950) is most well known for developing a method for storing blood as plasma to increase storage life. Dr. Drew also created the American Red Cross blood bank, becoming the first director, and he organized the world's first blood bank drive, nicknamed "Blood for Britain." When he found himself up against a discriminatory policy of segregating the blood supply based on a donor's race, he protested and the government refused to change the policy. Drew decided to resign and later became the Chair of Surgery at Howard University.
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