October 9, 1830|
|Died||February 21, 1908(aged 77)|
Harriet Hosmer was born at Watertown, Massachusetts, and completed a course of study in Lenox, Massachusetts. She was a delicate child, and was encouraged by her father, a physician, to pursue a course of physical training by which she became expert in rowing, skating, and riding. She traveled alone in the wilderness of the western United States, and visited the Dakota Indians.
She showed an early aptitude for modeling, and studied anatomy with her father. Through the influence of family friend Wayman Crow she would attend the anatomical instruction of Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell at the Missouri Medical College (then the medical department of the state university.) She then studied in Boston and practiced modeling at home until November 1852, when, with her father and her friend Charlotte Cushman, she went to Rome, where from 1853 to 1860 she was the pupil of the Welsh sculptor John Gibson.
While living in Rome, she was associated with Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thorvaldsen, Thackeray, George Eliot and George Sand; and she was frequently the guest of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning at Casa Guidi, in Florence. Later she also resided in Chicago and Terre Haute, Indiana.
Novelist Henry James unflatteringly referred to the group of women artists in Rome of which she was a part as "The White Marmorean Flock," borrowing a term from Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Marble Faun. These artists included lesbians Anne Whitney, Emma Stebbins, Edmonia Lewis and non-lesbians Louisa Lander, Margaret Foley, Florence Freeman, and Vinnie Ream.
She was devoted for 25 years to Lady Ashburton, widow of Bingham Baring, 2nd Baron Ashburton (died 1864). Lady Ashburton was born Louisa Caroline Stewart-Mackenzie, youngest daughter of James Alexander Stewart-Mackenzie, and had one daughter, the Hon. Mary Florence ("Maisie"), born 1860 in London.
She also designed and constructed machinery, and devised new processes, especially in connection with sculpture, such as a method of converting the ordinary limestone of Italy into marble, and a process of modeling in which the rough shape of a statue is first made in plaster, on which a coating of wax is laid for working out the finer forms.
Hosmer died at Watertown, Massachusetts, on February 21, 1908.
Hosmer made both large and small scale works and also produced work to specific order. Her smaller works were frequently issued in multiples to accommodate demand. Among her most popular were 'Beatrice Cenci', which exists in several versions.
- Daphne and Medusa, ideal heads (1853)
- Puck (1855), a spirited and graceful conception which she copied for the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Hamilton and others
- Oenone (1855), her first life-sized figure, now in the Saint Louis Art Museum
- Beatrice Cenci (1857), for the St. Louis Mercantile Library
- Zenobia,Queen of Palmyra (1857), Art Institute of Chicago
- Zenobia in Chains (1859), owned by the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California
- A Sleeping Faun (1867) is now being displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Another version is in Iveagh House, Dublin, see Homan Potterton, 'An American Sculpture at the Dublin Exhibition of 1865: Hariet Hosmer's Sleeping Faun', The Arts in Ireland Autumn 1973.
- A Waking Faun; a bronze statue of Thomas H. Benton (1868) for Lafayette Park, St. Louis
- Bronze gates for the Earl of Brownlow's art gallery at Ashridge Hall
- A siren fountain for Lady Marian Alford
- An alternate Emancipation Memorial—designed but not constructed
- Statues of the queen of Naples as the heroine of Gaeta, and of Queen Isabella of Spain for the Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893.
- The Mermaid's Cradle, bronze, Fountain Square, Larchmont, New York
- Medusa (1854), marble, Detroit Institute of Art
A book of poetry, Waking Stone: Inventions on the Life Of Harriet Hosmer, by Carole Simmons Oles, was published in 2006.
Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, 1857, Art Institute of Chicago
- One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1892). "Hosmer, Harriet". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton
- Hosmer, Harriet Goodhue (1912). Harriet Hosmer letters and memories. New York: Moffat, Yard and Company. p. 8.
- Williams, Carla (2002). "Whitney, Anne". glbtq.com. Retrieved 2007-11-30
- Dolly Sherwood, Harriet Hosmer, University of Missouri Press, pp.102-3; 270-3.
- Sherwood, Dolly, ‘’Harriet Hosmer, American Sculptor: 1830-1908’’ University of Missouri Press, Columbia MO, 1991 p. 31
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, record of "Beatrice Cenci"
- Art Gallery of New South Wales record of "Puck on a toadstool"
- Williams, Janette (March 6, 2008). "Gift helps Huntington acquire American art". Pasadena Star-News.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hosmer, Harriet Goodhue". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Culkin, Kate. Harriet Hosmer: A Cultural Biography. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010.
- Charles Colbert. Harriet Hosmer and Spiritualism. American Art, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Autumn, 1996), pp. 28–49
- Patricia Cronin, preface by Maura Reilly and an essay by William H. Gerdts. (2009). Harriet Hosmer: Lost and Found, A Catalogue Raisonné. Milan: Edizioni Charta. ISBN 9788881587322.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Harriet Goodhue Hosmer.|
- The Winterthur Library Overview of an archival collection on Harriet Hosmer.
- Hosmer, Harriet; Carr, Cornelia. Harriet Hosmer letters and memories (1913) (Internet Archives).
- Artcyclopedia entry for Harriet Hosmer
- Harriet Goodhue Hosmer, 1830-1908. A Finding Aid. Watertown Free Public Library, Watertown, MA 2008
- Entry for Harriet Hosmer in the Union List of Artist Names
- Papers, 1834-1959. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.