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Anna Quincy Waterston

ca. 1866 Edmonia Lewis Born: Greenbush, New York 1844 Died: London, England 1907 carved marble 11 7/8 x 7 1/4 x 5 1/8 in. (30.2 x 18.5 x 12.9 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Dr. Richard Frates 1983.95.181 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 17A

Luce Center Quote

"Tis fitting that a daughter of the race

Whose chains are breaking should receive a gift

So rare as genius. Neither power nor place,

Fashion or wealth, pride, custom, caste nor hue

Can arrogantly claim what God doth lift

Above these chances, and bestows on few."

Excerpt from "Edmonia Lewis," a poem by Anna Quincy Waterston, 1864

Luce Center Label

Edmonia Lewis often carved portraits of her patrons, either for a commission or as an expression of thanks. This piece depicts the poet Anna Quincy Waterston who, with her husband Reverend Robert C. Waterston, helped Lewis raise the money to pay for the first marbles she carved in Rome. The sculpture shows an elegant woman with a composed expression and a hint of a smile. The elaborate hairstyle and decorative clothing suggest a lady of wealth and importance in nineteenth-century society.


Portrait female - Waterston, Anna Quincy - bust


stone - marble