The World's Largest Public Domain Media Search Engine

Edmonia Lewis (1844–1907)

American sculptor Created by: PICRYLDated: 1844
Edmonia-lewis 02
Admonia Lewis was the first sculptor of African American and Native American (Mississauga) descent to achieve international recognition. Her father was Black, and her mother was Chippewa (Ojibwa) Indian.

Orphaned at an early age, Lewis grew up in her mother’s tribe where her life revolved around fishing, swimming, and making and selling crafts. In 1859 she attended Oberlin College in Ohio, one of the first schools to accept female and Black students. She developed an interest in the fine arts, but an accusation of poisoning, probably racially motivated, forced Lewis to leave the school before graduating.

She traveled to Boston and established herself as a professional artist, studying with a local sculptor and creating portraits of famous antislavery heroes. Moving to Rome in 1865, she became involved with a group of American women sculptors and began to work in marble.

Sculptors usually hired local workmen to carve their final pieces, but Lewis did all her own stonework out of fear that if she didn’t, her work would not be accepted as original. In addition to creating portrait heads, Lewis sculpted biblical scenes and figural works dealing with her Native American heritage and the oppression of Black people.
21 Media in collectionpage 1 of 1
Hiawatha, 19th century
Minnehaha, 19th century
E. Lewis. Sculptor.
E. Lewis. Sculptor
Motto edmonia lewis original

Motto edmonia lewis original

Edmonia Lewis, Albumen print, c.1870,

Clevelandart 2011.110
Smithsonian-Lewis-Old Arrowmaker-2070
Smithsonian-Lewis-Old Arrowmaker-2071
Edmonia-lewis 02

Edmonia-lewis 02

Edmonia Lewis carte de visite photograph

The Death of Cleopatra
Bust of Dr. Dio Lewis by Edmonia Lewis (1868)

Bust of Dr. Dio Lewis by Edmonia Lewis (1868)

Bust of Dr. Dio Lewis by Edmonia Lewis (1868), The Walters Art Museum

Columbus by Edmonia Lewis (1865-1867)

Columbus by Edmonia Lewis (1865-1867)

Columbus by Edmonia Lewis (1865-1867), High Museum of Art

Forever Free by Edmonia Lewis (1867)

Forever Free by Edmonia Lewis (1867)

Forever Free by Edmonia Lewis (1867), Howard University Art Gallery

Hiawatha's Marriage by Edmonia Lewis (1871)

Hiawatha's Marriage by Edmonia Lewis (1871)

Hiawatha's Marriage by Edmonia Lewis (1871), Cincinnati Art Museum

SAAM-1983.95.178 2

SAAM-1983.95.178 2

sculpture by Edmonia Lewis

Old Arrowmaker - Edmonia Lewis - saam 1983.95.182 (cropped)
SAAM-1994.17 1

SAAM-1994.17 1

sculpture by Edmonia Lewis

SAAM-1983.95.181 2

SAAM-1983.95.181 2

sculpture by Edmonia Lewis

SAAM-1983.95.180 2

SAAM-1983.95.180 2

sculpture by Edmonia Lewis

SAAM-1984.149.1 1

SAAM-1984.149.1 1

sculpture by Edmonia Lewis

The Negro in literature and art in the United States (1918) (14762975942)

The Negro in literature and art in the United States (1918) (147629759...

Identifier: negroinliterat00braw (find matches) Title: The Negro in literature and art in the United States Year: 1918 (1910s) Authors: Brawley, Benjamin Griffith, 1882-1939 Subjects: African American autho... More