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A Handful of Stars

A Handful of Stars, a cast of Betye Saar’s left hand, is a highly personal portrait of the artist. She represents the tools—her hands—that she uses to make her art. She adds stars, the moon, and the sun to reference her frequent studio practice of incorporating found objects in her sculptures.

In a recent interview on the The Modern Art Notes Podcast, Renée Stout, whose work is also featured in the Sheldon exhibition Person of Interest, talks about the life-changing experience of seeing an exhibition of Saar's work in 1984. It was the first museum show by an African American woman that Stout had seen and served as a significant catalyst for her work.

Betye Saar
born Los Angeles, CA 1926
A Handful of Stars
Bronze with patina and walnut base, 2016
8 3/8 × 3 3/4 × 5 inches
Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Robert E. Schweser and Fern Beardsley Schweser Acquisition Fund, through the University of Nebraska Foundation, U-6870.2019