Details

Title

Columbus

Artist/Maker

Edmonia Lewis (American, 1845–1907)

Date

ca. 1865–1867

Medium

Marble

Dimensions

29 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches

Credit

Gift of the West Foundation in honor of Gudmund Vigtel and Michael E. Shapiro

Accession #

2010.71

On View

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 307

Edmonia Lewis was a sculptor of African and Native American descent who worked for most of her career in Rome. She is best known for compositions and subjects that explore religion, history, and the oppression of marginalized peoples. Here, she depicts the famous explorer Christopher Columbus with an unidentified, possibly allegorical, Native American woman at his feet. The sculpture can be seen as either a paternalistic presentation celebrating Columbus’s “discovery” of the New World or a critical retelling of European colonization’s destructive impact on Indigenous peoples.