Selma Burke

An African American sculptor, Selma Burke (1900-1995) created the relief sculpture rendering of Franklin Delano Roosevelt which appears on the dime.

Selma Burke is an artist whose career has spanned more than sixty years. She was born in Mooresville, North Carolina, in 1900, and received her training as a sculptor at Columbia University in New York. She also studied with Maillol in Paris and in Vienna with Povoley. World War II interrupted her work in Europe and she returned to the United States to continue her artistic and humanitarian pursuits. She is best known for her relief sculpture rendering of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that was minted on the American dime.

Founder of the Selma Burke Art Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she has taught many and supported numerous artists from the period of the Depression through the present day.

The Pearl S. Buck Foundation Woman's Award was given to her in 1987 for her professional distinction and devotion to family and humanity. Notable works include Falling Angel; Peace; and Jim.

Burke died of cancer August 29, 1995 in New Hope, Pennsylvania.


Further Reading on Selma Burke

New York Times, September 2, 1995.

Washington Post, September 1, 1995.