Edmonia Lewis (c. July 4, 1844 – September 17, 1907) was an American sculptor.
- There is nothing so beautiful as the free forest. To catch a fish when you are hungry, cut the boughs of a tree, make a fire to roast it, and eat it in the open air, is the greatest of all luxuries. I would not stay a week pent up in cities, if it were not for my passion for art.
- On nature in “Edmonia Lewis (Smithsonian American Art Museum)
- Some praise me because I am a colored girl, and I don’t want that kind of praise…I had rather you would point out my defects, for that will teach me something.
- On the attention she preferred as an artist of color in “Sculptor Edmonia Lewis Shattered Gender and Race Expectations in 19th-Century America” in Smithsonian Magazine (2019 Aug 22)
- I have strong sympathy for all women who have struggled and suffered.
- On her sculpture “Hagar” [as quoted in “Making Art Against the Odds: The Triumph of Edmonia Lewis”] (Yale National Initiative)
- I was practically driven to Rome in order to obtain the opportunities for art-culture, and to find a social atmosphere where I was not constantly reminded of my color. The land of liberty had no room for a colored sculptor.
- On studying in Europe (as quoted in the book Improper Bostonians: Lesbian and gay history from the Puritans to Playland)