Lewis, Mary Edmonia
American, 19th century, female.
Active in Italy.
Born 4 July 1844, in New York State; died 1907, in Hammersmith, London.
Sculptor (marble), draughtsman. Portraits, medallions, busts, statues.
Mary Edmonia Lewis (Wildfire), a sculptor of African American and Native American ancestry, who once held studio space in Antonio Canova’s old rooms in Rome, created successful works and received many commissions during her lifetime. Lewis was the daughter of a Chippewa (Ojibwa) mother and an African American servant. She became an orphan at the age of four, and was raised by her mother’s people on the Mississagua Indian Reserve in Canada. Her brother, Sunrise, enrolled her in a school near Albany and she entered Oberlin College, Ohio, in ...