Portrait and Genre Artist of the Mid-19th Century

Probably the most famous woman painter of her time, Lilly Martin Spencer was known for her sentimental scenes of family life. While living in New York City with her husband and children, she attended night classes at the National Academy of Design and supported her family through the sale of her art. Today she is acknowledged as one of America's premier genre painters.

Image: Self-portrait of the artist

Angelique Marie Martin, nicknamed …Read More...

First Woman Impressionist Artist in the United States

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) was an American painter and printmaker. She was the first American Impressionist artist and one of the greatest artists our country has ever produced. She lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists. Cassatt (pronounced ca-SAHT) often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and …Read More...

Washington DC Socialite and Photographer

Clover Adams was a socialite, an active hostess in Washington, DC society, an accomplished amateur photographer, and one of the earliest portrait photographers in the United States. Her work was widely admired, but her husband, historian Henry Adams, would not allow her to become a professional and discouraged any publication of her work.

Image: Clover Adams on horseback at Beverly Farms, October 1869
The photo shown here is the only known adult photograph of …Read More...

Women in Art: 19th Century Sculptor

Edmonia Lewis was an American sculptor who created beautiful art and received great acclaim. In a world which did not encourage women of color, through incredible determination and sense of purpose, Lewis became the first professional African American and Native American sculptor, and often depicted African and Native peoples in her work. Among her best-known sculptures are Minnehaha, Charles Sumner, Phillis Wheatley and Abraham Lincoln.

Early Years
Edmonia Lewis' 1865 passport application states …Read More...

One of the First Women Artists in the United States

Vinnie Ream (1847–1914) was an American sculptor whose most famous work was the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the U.S. Capitol rotunda. In 1866, at the age of 18, Ream was selected by Congress to sculpt a memorial statue of Lincoln, making her the first woman commissioned to create a work of art for the United States government. Ream later created sculptures of Samuel Kirkwood and Sequoyah for the National …Read More...