Edmonia Lewis: Wildfire in Marble
A committed artist and a complex personality born in 1844, Edmonia Lewis was the first African American artist to win international fame. Lewis's part-Chippewa heritage and upbringing instilled in her only simple, spartan needs, and freed her to pursue her art -- sculpture -- in tough times (the late 19th-century) and in challenging circumstances (as a lone African American women in Europe). She bravely kept to her idealistic themes of religion and justice. And she had a knack for business -- bartering tenaciously for the finest marble and winning commissions creatively.
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