Edmonia Lewis was born in Albany. Her father was a Freed Slave and her mother a ojibwa Chippewa Indian. Her mother gave her the Indian name of Wildfire, and she had a brother named Sunrise. She lived for three years among the Chippewas to fulfill a promise to her dying mother. In 1860 she entered Oberlin, College. She was not allowed to graduate because of a racial scandal at the College. In 1863 she moved to Boston and became a sculptor, specializing in abolitionists and Civil War heroes. "Forever Free" 1867, is a marble sculpture now at the Howard University Gallery of Art in Washington, DC her most famous work. The money she earned from her work made it possible for her to go to Italy in 1865. She lived in Rome execpt for a few trips to the United States for the rest of her life. ∼Edmonia Lewis was born in Greenbush, NY, United States (now parts of East Greenbush and the City of Rensselaer, NY, in 1844 to a Native American mother and African-American father. She persisted through racial and gender discrimination to become a world famous and acclaimed sculptor in the mid to late 19th Century. Her most famous works are the Death of Cleopatra, now in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Forever Free, Bride of Spring, Bust of Colonel Robert G. Shaw, Old Arrowmaker and Daughter and many more acclaimed sculptures.
1844 - 1907
Gravesite Details Recently restored in September, 2017 from a successful fundraiser by East Greenbush, NY Historian Bobbie Reno.