EDMONIA LEWIS 

   Edmonia Lewis (c) A. Henderson      

 

NOW AVAILABLE: The Indomitable Spirit of Edmonia Lewis. A Narrative Biography,  by Harry Henderson ( co-author of A History of African American Art from 1792 to the Present) and Albert Henderson, winner of the eLit GOLD award: "Illuminating Digital Publishing Excellence." Independent Opinion:  "The Hendersonsí monument of research and craftsmanship seeks to give Lewis the consideration that she has been deniedónot dissimilar to the artistís own commitment to proving her competitors and critics wrong, demonstrating that a minority could take on the hegemonic tradition of fine arts. The book provides crystalline accounts of Lewisís feuds and mentorships, as well as rich illustrations of the works being discussed throughout. Overall, the authors deliver a well-constructed mix of primary resources, critical analysis and literary flourishes." - Kirkus Reviews. "Thank you so much for your excellent research ... Your work on Edmonia Lewis will be used for many years to come by scholars, art historians, art collectors and anyone interested in knowing more about this outstanding woman"  - Dr. Sheryl Colyer.  "Lewisís story is all at once interesting and sad. Her life, while forgotten for a while is now making a come back among art historians and this immense work helps to secure her artistic legacy." Lifelong Dewey   "A key acquisition for any arts or African-American history holding. The authors' attention to precise scholarship provides all the details of a solid linear history and biography but the end result is anything but dry: it reads with the passion and drama of good literature." Midwest Book Review  "A definitive biography" Washington Times  "5.0 of 5 stars" - Links Goodreads

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Birth

Edmonia Lewis's sworn 1865 application for a passport states her vital statistics: 

born in Greenbush, NY, on or about the 4th of July 1844, etc.  She probably 

prepared it months before she signed it, creating a small but easily resolved

discrepancy between the age of 20 and the birth in July, which predates her

actual signing. Greenbush (now Rensselaer) NY did not officially record births

until the 1870s. Similarly, an 1865 Massachusetts census stipulates age 20 as

of May.

 

Note her small stature, only four feet tall.

 

Her sponsor, merchant Parry Kennard, wrote in the margin, "M. Edmonia 

Lewis is a black girl sent by subscription to Italy having displayed great 

talent as a sculptor."

 

This is Figure 8 in The Indomitable Spirit of Edmonia Lewis, A Narrative Biography.

Copyright 2012, it may be reproduced with attribution.