American Art

Celebrate Black History Month with Edmonia Lewis

Minnehaha by Edmonia Lewis
Edmonia Lewis (American, 1844–1907) Minnehaha, 1868 American, Marble; 11 5/8 × 7 1/4 × 4 7/8 in. (29.5 × 18.4 × 12.4 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Friends of the American Wing, Morris K. Jesup Fund, 2015 (2015.287.2).

February is Black History Month in the United States and Canada, so DailyArt Magazine have been featuring interesting and overlooked African-American artists all month. I chose to write about African-American and Native-American sculptor Edmonia Lewis (c. 1844-1907). Lewis depicted characters like Cleopatra and Hiawatha in a Neo-Classical style and on a grand scale. She was a resourceful and resilient woman, who overcame significant prejudices in her life. However, her biography is still a bit of a mystery. I love Edmonia’s work, and I always find myself stopping happily in front of her busts of Hiawatha and Minnehaha (shown here) every time I visit the American Wing at the Met.

Read my article here: “The Fabulous Sculpture and Mysterious Life of Edmonia Lewis“. Published on DailyArt Magazine, February 13, 2020.

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