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American Art
sculpture
Columbus
Artist/Maker
Edmonia Lewis
American, 1845–after 1911
Date
ca. 1865–1867
Medium
Marble
Accession #
2010.71
Dimensions
29 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches
Location
On View - Stent Family Wing,Third Level, Gallery 301

Edmonia Lewis probably acquired her training as a sculptor in Rome, though little is known of the part African-American part Native American sculptor. Her stylistic approach was generally based upon the tenants of traditional Neoclassical sculpture, though her idiosyncratic compositions often explore themes of race—an uncommon subject for her late-Victorian audience. In Columbus, for example, the explorer is depicted with a Native American woman at his feet, a paternalistic presentation that celebrates the discovery of the New World while suggesting the ultimate submission and demise of Native American culture that took place as a result.

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