Anne Whitney

born Watertown, MA 1821-died Boston, MA 1915
Watertown, Massachusetts, United States
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • American

Anne Whitney was one of the few female sculptors who achieved success during the nineteenth century. She studied in Boston before moving to Rome, where there were many more opportunities to work with models and skilled stone carvers. She stayed in Europe for several years, creating sculptures inspired by what she viewed as social injustices, from the poverty on the streets of Rome to the oppression of slavery. Whitney encountered injustices in her own life as she struggled to succeed as a sculptor. One panel of judges awarded her a national commission, only to take it away when they realized the winning model had been made by a woman. But she persevered and in 1873 won a competition to create a statue of American patriot Samuel Adams for the United States Capitol. (Payne,Anne Whitney: Sculptures, Art and Social Justice,The Massachusetts Review, Spring 1971)