Finding Edmonia Lewis and Others

M. Richardson

Writer, curator, researcher

The emphasis is on 19th-Century African American artists Edmonia Lewis, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Edward Mitchell Bannister, and Meta Warrick Fuller.

Exciting Edmonia Lewis Discovery

  • Bust of Christ by Edmonia Lewis, 1870

    Bust of Christ by Edmonia Lewis, 1870

    Photo from the Bute Collection


An important discovery has been made of an1870 Bust of Christ by the Afro-Indian sculptor Edmonia Lewis (1842-1907). It was created for the Marquis of Bute, one of her earliest British patrons and is in the Bute family collection on the Isle of Bute off of Scotland.  An earlier piece by her commissioned by the Marquis, a Madonna and Child With Angels, is lost and thought to have been destroyed in a fire.

A work by Lewis of this name was auctioned in London in the latter part of the 19th-century, but with no illustration and little other information. It was from the collection of a British Roman Catholic prelate noted for leading a scandously worldy life.

For a quick intro to Lewis, her life and career, Google “Marilyn Richardson” “Edmonia Lewis” both in quotes.

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