Black History Month: Edmonia Lewis
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 earth.sky 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.