The Metropolitan Museum of ArtLike many American artists of the 19th century, our #WomanCrushWednesday Edmonia Lewis—born July 4, 1844—traveled abroad to work in Italy. Her multiracial identity as a woman of African American and Native American (Anishinaabe/Ojibwe) descent was formative in her selection of subjects.
Between 1866 and 1872, she completed a series of marble sculptures on the popular theme of Hiawatha and Minnehaha, drawn from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1855 epic poem "The Song of Hiawatha." These cabinet-sized busts represent the star-crossed lovers from once-warring nations (Anishinaabe and Dakota) and blend an idealized treatment of form with Native American dress and accessories.
🎨 Edmonia Lewis (American, 1844–1907). Hiawatha, 1868; Minnehaha, 1868. Marble. metamericanwing #5WomenArtists
[Image descriptions: Two white marble busts of a male and female wearing Native American dress and accessories.]