Artist of the moment……..Edmonia Lewis

Edmonia Lewis was born close to Albany, New York  in a city called Greenbush, New York in the year 1845. Her actual birthday is not known. Edmonia Lewis was the first woman of color to achieve national prominence. Her father was African- American and her mother was a Native American Indian of the Chippewa tribe. Her mother was a crafts person and also created weavings.

Her mother and father both died when the artist was nine years of age.

In 1856 with some help from abolitionists Lewis attended Oberlin College located in Oberlin, Ohio. During her last year she was supposed to go sledding with some fellow classmates and she served them an alcoholic beverage that made them both ill. The two didn’t die, but were very ill. The townspeople revolted and a mob formed and beat her severely as she was walking home one evening. She left the college before graduation.

For most of her working life Edmonia Lewis was based out of Rome.

Her full name was Mary Edmonia Lewis.

A brief documentary on Edmonia Lewis with some of her sculptures:

Among people she created figures of were leading abolitionists, a leader of an African- American infantry group Robert Shaw, and also the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

During her peak she received two commissions worth $50,000. Even President Ulysses Grant ordered a commission from the artist.

Edmonia Lewis passed away in 1907 whilst in London, England.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

Inspiring to see that despite her difficulties and loss of parents, Lewis relocated to Europe and flourished as an artist.


1 Comment »

  1. nannus Said:

    I can’t say I like it, but it is interesting. 🙂

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