Death of Cleopatra by famed African American artist Edmonia Lewis, who went on to paint the official portrait of President Ulysses S. Grant.  1876

Death of Cleopatra by famed African American artist Edmonia Lewis, who went on to paint the official portrait of President Ulysses S. Grant. 1876

Edmonia Lewis (1843-1911) was born in upstate New York in 1843 to a Chippewa Indian mother and African American father. Edmonia surpassed exorbitant odds to become the first African American, and Native American, female sculptor -- and was the first such artist to celebrate her racial identity.

Edmonia Lewis (1843-1911) was born in upstate New York in 1843 to a Chippewa Indian mother and African American father. Edmonia surpassed exorbitant odds to become the first African American, and Native American, female sculptor -- and was the first such artist to celebrate her racial identity.

Edmonia Lewis (ca. July 4, 1844–September 17, 1907) was an African/Native American sculptor (African, Ojibwe and Haitian) who worked for most of her career in Rome. Her heritage is African-American and Native American and she gained fame and recognition as a sculptor in the international fine arts world.

Edmonia Lewis (ca. July 4, 1844–September 17, 1907) was an African/Native American sculptor (African, Ojibwe and Haitian) who worked for most of her career in Rome. Her heritage is African-American and Native American and she gained fame and recognition as a sculptor in the international fine arts world.

Rising Above Prejudice – Sculptor Edmonia Lewis – By Pat Knepley The Old Schoolhouse Magazine - January 2014 - Page 124

Rising Above Prejudice – Sculptor Edmonia Lewis – By Pat Knepley The Old Schoolhouse Magazine - January 2014 - Page 124

Mary Edmonia Lewis (ca. July 4, 1844–September 17, 1907) was the first African American and Native American woman to gain fame and recognition as a sculptor in the international fine arts world. She was of African American, Haitian and Ojibwe descent. Minnehaha, marble, 1868, collection of the Newark Museum

Mary Edmonia Lewis (ca. July 4, 1844–September 17, 1907) was the first African American and Native American woman to gain fame and recognition as a sculptor in the international fine arts world. She was of African American, Haitian and Ojibwe descent. Minnehaha, marble, 1868, collection of the Newark Museum

Edmonia Lewis: Forever Free, 1867 				i. Celebrates the end of the American Civil War and 				   the emancipation of slaves (romanticism)

Edmonia Lewis: Forever Free, 1867 i. Celebrates the end of the American Civil War and the emancipation of slaves (romanticism)

Mary Edmonia Lewis (ca. July 4, 1844–September 17, 1907) was the first African American and Native American woman to gain fame and recognition as a sculptor in the international fine arts world. She was of African American, Haitian and Ojibwe descent. This sculpture of white marble is "Death of Cleopatra.". It is in the Smithsonian.

The Life and Death of Edmonia Lewis, Spinster and Sculptor

Mary Edmonia Lewis (ca. July 4, 1844–September 17, 1907) was the first African American and Native American woman to gain fame and recognition as a sculptor in the international fine arts world. She was of African American, Haitian and Ojibwe descent. This sculpture of white marble is "Death of Cleopatra.". It is in the Smithsonian.

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