At 90, Betye Saar still makes political art about race in America

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Betye Saar creates art out of objects she finds at flea markets and junk stores. In 1972 she made her name with a piece called “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima,” in which she reconfigured a mammy figurine to hold a broom in one hand and a shotgun in the other. Now she has a new exhibition called “Keepin’ It Clean” at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in LA.


Betye Saar at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in LA
(Photo by Gina Pollack)


Saar says this white christening dress symbolizes the loss of innocence.
It has words stitched to the bottom-- racist slurs for black children.
(Credit: Craft and Folk Art Museum)


Saar's "The Liberation of Aunt Jemima," 1972.
(Credit: Collection of the Berkeley Art Museum)