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 Anne Whitney  (1821 - 1915)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: sculptor-life size figure

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Anne Whitney, born in 1821, was a sculptor of portraits in bronze and marble. She began as a teacher and a writer, publishing a book of her poems in 1859, before turning to sculpture in the late 1850s. In 1860, she enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, but realized her skills were too advanced for their program. As a woman in this time period it was difficult to obtain formal training in sculpture, so she planned to go abroad. Her plans were interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil War and Whitney went back to Boston, studying with sculptor, William Rimmer from 1862 to 1864.

When it was safe to travel abroad in 1867, her and her life-long companion, Adeline Manning went to Rome. Unlike most American expatriate sculptors, she never fully adopted the idealized neoclassical style that was so prevalent in Rome, even after four years there. Whitney's subjects were often instances of social injustice, as a strong abolitionist and women's rights advocate, she portrayed what she was passionate about.

In 1871 Whitney returned to Boston, where she enjoyed a long and productive career. She was commissioned by the state of Massachusetts to create a life-size Samuel Adams for the U.S. Capitol. She exhibited frequently at the National Academy of Design and showed at the 1871 International Exposition in London, the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, and the 1893 Chicago World' Columbian Exposition. She was a strong figure in Boston into her nineties and was a great inspiration to the generation of sculptors who came after her.

Hirshler, E. "A Studio of Her Own, Women Artists in Boston 1870-1940"

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