Black History Month: Edmonia Lewis

February 2, 2017


On February 1, 2017, in honor of Black History Month, Google featured sculptor Edmonia Lewis with a Google Doodle. Lewis’ work is a highlight of Mount Auburn’s Significant Monument Collection with her 1872 marble sculpture of the Goddess of Health and Hygiene, Hygeia, commissioned by pioneering female physician and reformer Harriot Kezia Hunt for her family’s Lot 2630 Poplar Avenue. Historian Marilyn Richardson wrote, “The doctor and the sculptor chose to introduce a woman of ancient power and authority into Mount Auburn’s landscapes of influence, a woman who, in a place of loss and bereavement, they posed striding forth with the attributes of wisdom and well-being.” Richardson, a foremost scholar of Edmonia Lewis, recently shared her decades of research and discovery about Lewis with Mount Auburn’s artist-in-residence Roberto Mighty for his multimedia project. For the 5-minute piece, Mighty filmed sculptors Fern Cunningham-Terry and Karen Eutemey as Lewis’ dreamlike ‘artist hands.’ Actor Dayenne C. Walters voiced Edmonia Lewis’ words in Mighty’s studio, and Actor Souther did the voices of Lydia Maria Child and Anna Quincy Waterston. 2016: “An American in Rome” from Roberto Mighty on Vimeo.


  1. Clarissa Atkinson says:

    Thank you. I especially appreciate learning something new and significant in Black History Month this year, after the so-called president’s display of ignorance and indifference.

    • Rev Dr Tom Jones says:

      Thanks to Mount Auburn for this bit about Lewis. It was very nice.

      I also appreciate learning something new during Black History month, but unlike some, I think that our “so-called” president might just be displaying some courage and wisdom… I didn’t vote for him myself, but I’m trying to keep an open mind.

      (I believe that if some people are allowed to “get political”, all others should be extended the same courtesy. Shut-out none and respectfully listen to all – OR don’t publish ANY political remarks/opinions. Thx.)

  2. Margo Culley says:

    For more on Edmonia Lewis, please see a new book by Jeannine Atkins, Stone Mirrors : The Sculpture and Silence of Edmonia Lewis (Atheneum Books, 2017)

  3. Martha Tubinis says:

    This piqued my interest – will definitely buy the book to learn more about her, especially during these fragile times where history and women have so much to lose.

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