Anna Quincy Waterston

Copied Edmonia Lewis, Anna Quincy Waterston, ca. 1866, carved marble, 11 787 145 18 in. (30.218.512.9 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Dr. Richard Frates, 1983.95.181
Free to use

Artwork Details

Anna Quincy Waterston
ca. 1866
11 787 145 18 in. (30.218.512.9 cm.)
back of chest on pedestal incised: e. lewis/to/m f: E. Lewis/to/M F Me Waterston back of base lower left in ballpoint pen: R.F.
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Richard Frates
Mediums Description
carved marble
  • Portrait
  • Portrait female — Waterston, Anna Quincy — bust
Object Number

Artwork Description

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.
Luce Object 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