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 Lucy Hiller Cleveland  (1780 - 1866)

About: Lucy Hiller Cleveland


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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: folk sculpture-genre vignettes

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A significant folk artist in antebellum America, Lucy Cleveland created scenes of early American life with folk figures, often made from rags with additives such as human hair, glass, paper, and metal and colored with watercolor paints. She also embellished them with beadwork and leather. Her themes were abolition of slavery, temperance, and social benevolence, and quite often her pieces had a witty tone.

In addition to these folk figures, she wrote and illustrated more than a dozen children's books between 1827 and 1842.

Born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1780, she was the daughter of Margaret Cleveland and Joseph Hiller, who was a clockmaker, watchmaker, silversmith, and engraver. Lucy was widowed after a year of marriage to Captain William Lambert and married her deceased sister's husband, also her first cousin, William Cleveland and raised three nephews or stepsons.

In 1828 and 1829, she accompanied her husband and a stepson on a year long voyage to the Orient, and she kept a sketchbook from which she later did vignettes of Oriental figures. She also wrote a fictionalized account of her travels.

She lived to be eighty-six years old, dying in 1866.

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