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Unsung Sheroes: 10 Historical Black Women Figures

Mary Edmonia Lewis

Mary Edmonia Lewis

Inspired by the lives of abolitionists and Civil War heroes, Mary Edmonia Lewis is hailed as the first African-American woman to gain fame and recognition as a sculptor in the fine arts community.

She studied under sculptor Edward Augustus Brackett before moving to Rome in 1865. Lewis adopted the neoclassical technique and was able to sell her work for large sums of money. She later officiated several major exhibitions both in the United States and in Rome before her death in 1907.

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