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Art: A Sisterhood of Sculptors


  • How do the Anglo-American sculptors re-imagine Italy via their work?
  • How does their work intersect with other key debates (slavery, women's suffrage, sexuality and same-sex relationships?)
  • Explain how the political voice of the artists is communicated via their sculpture.
  • How was the women's work received and how were they viewed by others?

Key Reading

Harriet Hosmer: Clasped Hands of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Beatrice Cenci and Zenobia in Chains

Edmonia Lewis: Preghiera and Forever Free

Anne Whitney: Roma and Toussaint L'Ouverture in Prison

Melissa Dabakis, A Sisterhood of Sculptors: American Artists in Nineteenth-Century Rome, esp pp. 93-148

Deborah Cherry, Beyond the frame: feminism and visual culture, Britain 1850-1900, esp chapter 4, 'Harriet Hosmer's Zenobia'

Jacqueline Marie Musacchio with Jenifer Bartle and David McClure, assisted by Kalyani Bhat, 'Mapping the “White, Marmorean Flock”: Anne Whitney Abroad, 1867–1868', Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, 13 (2014)

Further Reading

Kate Culkin, Harriet Hosmer: A Cultural Biography

Lisa Merrill, “old maids, sister-artists, and aesthetes”: Charlotte Cushman and her circle of “jolly bachelors” construct an expatriate women's community in Rome, Women's Writing, 10 (2003)

Charmaine A. Nelson, The Color of Stone : Sculpting the Black Female Subject in Nineteenth-Century America

Lisa B. Reitzes, 'The Political Voice of the Artist: Anne Whitney's Roma and Harriet Martineau', American Art, 8 (1994)

Martha Vicnus, 'Laocooning in Rome: Harriet Hosmer and Romantic Friendship', Women's Writing, 10 (2003)

Toussaint L'Ouverture in Prison

Anne Whitney, Toussaint L'Ouverture in Prison