011- Edmonia Lewis

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Edmonia Lewia Quotes:

“There is nothing so beautiful as the free forest. To catch a fish when you are hungry, cut the boughs off a tree, make fire to roast it, and eat it in the open air, is the greatest of all luxuries. I would not stay a week pent up in cities, if it were not for my passion for Art.”



“I was … declared to be wild — they could do nothing with me. Often they said to me, ‘Here is your book, the book of Nature; come and study it.’

“I thought I knew everything when I came to Rome, but I soon found that I had everything to learn.”

Regarding how she became an artist: “well, it was a strange selection for a poor girl to make, wasn’t it? I suppose it was in me … I became almost crazy to make something like the thing which fascinated me.” 

“I was practically driven to Rome in order to obtain the opportunities for art culture, and to find a social atmosphere where I was not constantly reminded of my color. The land of liberty had not room for a colored sculptor.”

“I am going back to Italy to do something for the race – something that will excite the admiration of the other races of the earth.”

“I shall never live in America.” 

“The Good Spirit always sends me friends.”


― Edmonia Lewis 



  • Buick, Kirsten Pai (2010). Child of the Fire: Mary Edmonia Lewis and the Problem of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-4266-3. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  • Chadwick, Whitney (2012). Women, Art, and Society (5th ed.). New York, NY: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 9780500204054.
    “The Death of Cleopatra”. Smithsonian American Art Museum (museum catalog record). Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  • Edmonia Lewis, Harry Henderson and Albert Henderson, Edmonia Lewis website, edmonialewis.com. 2012.
  • Edmonia Lewis, Provenance and: Minnehaha, Marble, 1868, Edmonia Lewis and: Indian Combat, and: Indian Combat, Marble, 1868, Edmonia Lewis and: Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, Marble, 1864, Edmonia Lewis and: My Name is Sissieretta Jones, and: Sissieretta Jones, Carnegie Hall, 1902, Project MUSE, 2016.
  • Girls Who Rocked the World, Michelle Roehm McCann and Amelie Welden, 2012.
  • Gold, Susanna W. (Spring 2012). “The death of Cleopatra / the birth of freedom: Edmonia Lewis at the new world’s fair”. Biography. 35: 318–324 – via EBSCO.
  • Hartigan, Lynda Roscoe (1985). Sharing Traditions: Five Black Artists in Nineteenth-Century America: From the Collections of the National Museum of American Art. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. OCLC 11398839.
  • Richardson, Marilyn (July 1995). “Edmonia Lewis’ The Death Of Cleopatra: Myth And Identity”. The International Review of African American Art. 12 (2): 36. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  • Richardson, Marilyn (Summer 2008). “Edmonia Lewis at McGrawville: The early education of a nineteenth-century black women artist”. Nineteenth-Century Contexts. 22 (2): 239–256 – via EBSCOhost.
  • Woods, Naurice Frank (1993). Insuperable Obstacles: The Impact of Racism on the Creative and Personal Development of Four Nineteenth Century African American Artists. Cincinnati: Union Institute. Retrieved 1 February 2017.

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