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Sculptor Edmonia Lewis Shattered Gender and Race Expectations in 19th-Century America

Disir

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Kidnapped, beaten and left to die, Edmonia Lewis, a talented artist with both African and Native-American ancestry, refused to abandon her dreams. In the winter of 1862, a white mob had attacked her because of reports that she had poisoned two fellow Oberlin College students, drugging their wine with “Spanish Fly.” Battered and struggling to recover from serious injuries, she went to court and won an acquittal.


Though these details are apparently true, after becoming an internationally known sculptor, Lewis used threads of both truth and imagination to embroider her life story, artfully adding to her reputation as a unique person and a sculptor who refused to be limited by the narrow expectations of her contemporaries.


Read more: Sculptor Edmonia Lewis Shattered Gender and Race Expectations in 19th-Century America | At the Smithsonian | Smithsonian

They have a few of her sculptures there.
 

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