Hailing from a wealthy, liberal Unitarian Boston family, sculptor Anne Whitney was politically active in support of abolition and women's equality. Her choice of subjects--abolitionists, feminists, and blacks--reflected her political and social beliefs.
As a woman artist in a male-dominated field, Whitney experienced her own struggles for equality: in 1875, having been a sculptor for nearly twenty years, she entered a national competition for a sculpture of the abolitionist Charles Sumner. Whitney won the commission, only to be denied the job when it was realized that she was a woman.
It was "publicly decreed that a woman could not accurately sculpt a man's legs." Outraged all the more because the abolitionist subject was dear to her heart, and determined that such discrimination would not happen to her again, she never entered another competition. She did, however, decide to produce the statue anyway. It now stands outside Harvard Law School.
©Anne Whitney (1821-1915)/Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College. Abby Adeline Manning, 1861 (©4)
Anne Whitney was an American sculptor and poet. Whitney sculpted notable people but also the painter Abby Adeline Manning, with whom Whitney is said to have had a "Boston marriage." Manning's work has since fallen into obscurity, and she is remembered now primarily as Whitney's longtime companion. Manning and Whitney perhaps met around 1862 when Anne was studying with the renowned William Rimmer. By 1878 Adeline and Anne were living and working in their new studio at 92 Mt. Vernon in Boston.
Abby Adeline Manning (June 1836 - May 21, 1906) & Anne Whitney (September 2, 1821 – January 23, 1915)'s ashes are buried under the same headstone in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
@Georgio. Fanueil Hall et statue de Samuel Adams (Boston, Massachussets)
@Daderot. Statue of Charles Sumner in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. This statue was sculpted by Anne Whitney in 1900
Prior to becoming a sculptor, Whitney, who was born on September 2, 1821, ran a small school in Salem, Massachusetts from 1846 to 1848. During that time she began to write verse and became a published author, with work in Harper's and Atlantic Monthly magazines. She became well known as a poet, and her collected poems were published in 1859.
By that time, however, she had begun to model sculptures. Her earliest known work is a portrait bust of a young girl, Laura Brown (1859; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution).
Having been previously educated at home and at a girls' school in Maine, but eager to learn her craft, in 1862 Whitney took a studio next door to and began studying with Boston sculptor William Rimmer.
During this time she modeled what is believed to be the first male nude by an American woman artist. She later reworked the plaster piece into her sculpture The Lotus Eater (Newark Museum). Her first life-sized work was Lady Godiva (private collection), whom she depicted disrobing in an act of protest against taxation of the poor.
During this time in Boston, Whitney befriended women sculptors Harrier Hosmer (1820-1908), her neighbor, and Mary Edmonia Lewis (1844-1909), who had recently relocated to Boston from Ohio and whom Whitney briefly instructed.
Like Hosmer and Lewis before her, Whitney went to Rome in 1866, seeking to broaden her skills. Years later Henry James dubbed lesbians Hosmer, Whitney, Lewis, and Emma Stebbins (along with non-lesbians Louisa Lander, Margaret Foley, Florence Freeman, and Vinnie Ream Hoxie) "that strange sisterhood of American 'lady sculptors' who at one time settled upon the seven hills [of Rome] in a white, marmorean flock," referring to their preference for the fine white marble quarried near Rome.
All of these artists worked primarily in the neoclassical style, producing monumental sculptures of historical and allegorical female subjects. During her time in Rome, Whitney created Roma (1869), an unidealized image of an old peasant woman, her dress hemmed with small medallions of famous Italian artworks as a symbol of the poverty and decay of the ancient city. Due to its critical content, however, Roman authorities banned it and she had to sneak it out of the country.
Upon her return to the United States in 1871, Whitney received a commission for the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., to create a sculpture of Revolutionary War hero Samuel Adams. Before it was sent to Washington it was displayed at the Boston Athenaeum; Bostonians liked it so much they commissioned a bronze copy, which stands in Adams Square in front of Faneuil Hall.
In 1876 Whitney established her four-story studio at 92 Mount Vernon Street on Beacon Hill in Boston, where she worked for eighteen years.
In 1893, she executed a portrait bust of her friend, feminist Lucy Stone, which was commissioned for the Woman's Building at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and is now in the Boston Public Library.
Although Whitney protested the segregation of women's art, she was eager to memorialize Stone, whom Whitney met while raising money with feminist Elizabeth Blackwell to establish a women's hospital. Stone was the first Massachusetts woman to earn a college degree; and she kept her name when she married, inspiring later feminists to dub themselves "Lucy Stoners."
An early conservationist, Whitney purchased a 225-acre farm in Shelburne, Vermont, where she and Manning spent their summers. Whitney later taught at Wellesley College, and in 1902, righting a twenty-five-year injustice, a bronze she cast from a reworked model of Sumner was erected near Harvard Square in Cambridge. Her Mount Vernon Street studio is now a featured stop on a walking tour of Beacon Hill in Boston.
Abby Adeline Manning (Jun., 1836, New York, USA - May 21, 1906, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA) was the daughter of Richard H. Manning, merchant and Frances A. Moore. At the age of six Abby lost her mother and younger sister, Emily. She grew up in New York living with her father and step mother. She and Anne Whitney perhaps met around 1862 when Anne was studying with the renowned William Rimmer. He also taught at the School of Design for Women, Cooper Union, New York City. Between 1867 and 1876 she and Anne visited Munich, Paris and Rome. In 1878 Adeline and Anne were living and working in their new studio at 92 Mt. Vernon in Boston. Abby at the time was also an artist and her works to this day have been lost to the shadows of history and time. In 1888 Anne purchased 225 acres in Shelburne, New Hampshire and her and Adeline spent their summers on the farm. They were both involved with the women suffrage movement, printing of pamphlets to hand out for different causes, and of sharing their home with friends and fellow artists. They were together for forty four years until, after a brief illness, Adeline died at the age sixty-nine. Some have written of Adeline that she was gentle as a moonbeam, yet firm as a rock and was Anne's other self and second conscience. They buried her and Anne's ashes next to each other under the same headstone.
They are buried together on the same plot, at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA, Plot: Lot 709, Thistle Path.
Author: Williams, Carla
Entry Title: Whitney, Anne
General Editor: Claude J. Summers
Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture
Publication Date: 2002
Date Last Updated May 12, 2008
Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/whitney_a.html
Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL 60607
Today's Date January 23, 2014
Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.
Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
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Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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