Anne Whitney

Anne Whitney was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, on 2nd September, 1821. She ran a school in Salem, before moving to New York to study art. Whitney had her first exhibition at the National Academy of Design in 1860.

A passionate opponent of slavery and an advocate of women's rights, Whitney's work often reflected her political beliefs. This included sculptured busts of Lucy Stone, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frances Willard, Harriet Martineau, Mary Livermore and William Lloyd Garrison.

Whitney was also asked by the city of Boston to create a monument to celebrate the achievements of Charles Sumner. However, when the officials discovered that Whitney was a woman, they withdrew the commission. Whitney, who had been a political supporter of Sumner in his campaign against slavery, decided to produce the statue anyway. It now stands outside Harvard Law School.

Anne Whitney died on 23rd January, 1915.

Anne Whitney Bio

Anne Whitney was born in Massachusetts on September 2, 1821. American sculptor and poet from Massachusetts. She made the statue of Samuel Adams in the National Statuary Hall Collection. She made a well-known bust of John Keats. She was homeschooled and later traveled to Europe where she studied in Rome, Munich, and Paris.

On Popular Bio, She is one of the successful Sculptors. She has ranked on the list of those famous people who were born on September 2, 1821. She is one of the Richest Sculptors who was born in Massachusetts. She also has a position among the list of Most popular Sculptor.

Short Profile
First NameAnne
Last NameWhitney
DiedJan 23, 1915 ( age 93)
Birth SignVirgo
Birth DateSeptember 2, 1821
Birth PlaceMassachusetts

Anne Whitney - History

Anne Whitney, poet and sculptor, was born in Watertown, Massachusetts on September 2, 1821.

The seventh child of Nathaniel Ruggles Whitney and Sally Stone Whitney, Whitney was raised in a liberal, Unitarian family. She was tutored until entering a private academy at the age of 12, around the time that she began writing poetry.

Whitney developed an interest in abolitionist and women’s rights advocates such as William Lloyd Garrison, Lucy Stone, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Blackwell, and Charles Sumner (Lot 2447, Arethusa Path) and began publishing poetry in Harper’s and Atlantic Monthly. In 1855 she took up sculpture and continued working in poetry, publishing a volume of poems in 1859. The collection was met with positive acclaim by The North American Review.

In 1862 Whitney opened her own sculpture studio and began modeling busts of friends and relatives before turning to figures that represented her social ideals. She sculpted a life-sized statue of Lady Godiva, based on Tennyson’s poem, which represented the moral story of personal sacrifice in the name of public good. Whitney’s support of the abolitionist movement was exemplified by Africa (1864), which used the image of an awakening slave woman to symbolize the awakening of Africa as the Civil War broke the bonds of her children’s enslavement.

Whitney frequently traveled to Rome and Europe to study, but worked primarily in the U.S. on such commissioned pieces as Samuel Adams and Leif Ericson, displayed in Faneuil Hall and Commonwealth Avenue, respectively. She entered and won a contest to create a statue of Senator Charles Sumner, but once the judges discovered that the anonymous contestant was a woman, they retracted their decision and gave the commission to the runner up, Thomas Ball. Whitney’s model was cast in bronze and erected in Harvard Square in 1902, when she was 81 years old.

Whitney lived in Watertown with her family until her mother’s death in 1893, and then moved to Boston to share a home with her sister, Sarah, and partner, Adeline Manning. Whitney and Manning worked together in the fight against social injustice and advocated for women’s rights while living together in a “Boston marriage” for nearly 40 years. Whitney was buried in the Manning family lot at Mount Auburn following her death at the age of 93.

Anne Whitney is buried at Mount Auburn in Lot 709 on Thistle Path.

Adapted from the research of Judy Jackson and Cathy Breitkreutz, as published in Mount Auburn’s Person of the Week: Anne Whitney, 1999.

Anne Whitney - History

Mary Tileston Hemenway (1820–1894) was an important philanthropist, education reformer, and advocate of physical education. She founded numerous schools in the Boston area, including the Normal School of Gymnastics, which merged with Wellesley College to become the Department of Hygiene and Physical Education in 1909. That same year, a gymnasium was donated to the College in her name. A bronze relief depicting Hemenway, created by renowned poet and sculptor Anne Whitney, hung in the gym’s library until the complex was demolished in 1980’s to make way for the Keohane Sports Center.

“After the destruction of the old gymnasium, the relief was largely forgotten,” said Kathryn Cooperman ’15, who conducted an independent study on Whitney this spring with Jacki Musacchio, department chair and professor of art history, and Carlos Dorrien, studio director and professor of studio art, creating a virtual exhibition of Whitney's sculpture at Wellesley. She began her research in January by focusing on the eight known works at the College. But both Musacchio and Cooperman also wanted to try to find a ninth object, the Hemenway bronze relief.

“We had archival photographs of this relief, and references in Whitney's documents, but when the gymnasium was demolished to make way for Keohane Sports Center in 1984, it disappeared,” said Musacchio, who has studied Anne Whitney for several years.

Whitney, who taught at the College for one semester, was an important part of intellectual and artistic circles in the Boston area in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She was close to many of Wellesley's early faculty and staff, including Wellesley’s second president Alice Freeman and her husband George Herbert Palmer. Whitney’s statue of Harriet Martineau was a key feature of College Hall and campus ritual until it was destroyed in the 1914 fire.

Musacchio called the Hemenway relief an important object in terms of Wellesley's history, and Whitney's body of work. In an effort to locate it, she and Cooperman began assembling information from historical documents and photographs, and following leads that took them on a search involving both current and retired staff and locations across campus.

The Archives team couldn't find any record of the relief, nor could Davis Museum staff or Facilities. “Kathy Hagerstrom, the Assistant Director for Equipment and Operations at the KSC, walked us through that building, opening closets and boxes in the hopes that it had been tucked away and forgotten,” Musacchio said, “but we found nothing. Kathy encouraged us to contact Ann Batchelder, retired faculty in the Department of Physical Education though she remembered it from her time at the College, she had no information on its current whereabouts.”

Then Musacchio had a chance encounter. “I was at a Friends of the Library meeting with Wilma Slaight, the College's first Archivist, and I asked her if she knew anything about it,” Musacchio said. Slaight did remember. “She immediately told me where it was stored in Archives after it was removed from the Gymnasium…it wasn't in that exact location but it was nearby, still wrapped up to protect it, more than 30 years after it was last seen.”

Current College Archivist Jane Callahan, and Director of Library Collections Ian Graham, located the relief on May 22 both Musacchio and Cooperman were thrilled.

“So much of Anne Whitney’s sculpture has been lost, destroyed, or out of the public eye for many years, and what little information exists as to the sculptures’ history can be extremely difficult to decipher,” said Cooperman. “Finding this relief was so important for my project, because it made scholarship about Whitney, which is so often ambiguous, more tangible, and it further elucidated one of the main goals of my project: illustrating the connection between Anne Whitney and Wellesley College.”

Wellesley's Archives, Special Collections, and Davis Museum have the largest collection of Whitney material in the world, including about four thousand of her letters and other archival material, and, now including the Hemenway relief, nine of her sculptures. In 2014, with funding from Friends of the Library and the McNeil Program for Studies in American Art, Musacchio and the Digital Scholarship Initiatives program launched Dear Home: The Letters of Anne Whitney, a crowd-sourced transcription site for the Wellesley community. Cooperman’s virtual exhibition will be incorporated into this site.

The bronze relief will remain in the Archives until an appropriate place can be found to install it in the future. Musacchio said she hopes people will be able to see it as a way to learn more about the work of Anne Whitney and Mary Hemenway and their connections to the College.

To Make and Destroy: Sculptures of Anne Whitney

Fig. 1: Anne Whitney, Ethiopia Shall Soon Stretch Out Her Hands to God, or Africa (1862-64), plaster, destroyed, Photograph courtesy of the Wellesley College Archives, Papers of Anne Whitney.

In the nineteenth century, artists often struggled with depicting the newly emancipated population of blacks in America. Anne Whitney (1821-1915) was one such artist, a female neoclassical sculptor who often depicted narratives concerning contemporary issues [1]. Whitney struggled to depict race in her works Ethiopia Shall Soon Stretch Out Her Hands to God or Africa (1862-1864) and Toussaint L’Ouverture in Prison (1869-1871) [2]. The sculptures were created during shifting concepts of racial difference and gender. The artist, challenged and restricted by Victorian norms, eventually destroyed both works. Luckily, scholars today have access to these works through studio photographs. This paper will discuss these two artworks analysing Whitney’s artistic process, thematic strategy and reasons for destruction. Both sculptures reference America’s newly emancipated black population in subject and the artist draws on the work of other nineteenth century sculptors. I argue that Whitney destroys Ethiopia and L’Ouverture because of the complex changing representational politics and criticism surrounding her work.

In Boston and later abroad in Rome, Anne Whitney was very involved in politics. Her interests included the abolition of slavery, Reconstruction, and women’s rights. Whitney was a part of several Boston abolitionist groups that were under the influence of local newspaper editor William Lloyd Garrison [3]. The condition of the black enslaved woman was essential to Garrison’s cause. He radically argued that true emancipation must allow freedom from slavery and chattel-like marriage. Denouncing these institutions, Garrison welcomed women into his group like Whitney and fellow sculptor, Edmonia Lewis. She also maintained friendships with radical abolitionists including Wendell Phillips and Angelina Grimké [4]. After a career in poetry, Whitney turned to sculpture and immediately began creating works that expressed her political interests [5]. Ethiopia (Figure 1) and Toussaint L’Ouverture (Figure 2) were direct results of her abolitionist leanings and contemporary political theory influences their theme and form. In 1863 while working on Ethiopia, Whitney attended so many abolitionist meetings that she felt her attendance was leaving her less time for sculpture. The artist’s sculptures reflect her passion for politics but also reflect the complexities of the “normal gaze” in neoclassical sculpture [6].

During a political period where America’s history of almost 400 years of slavery was coming to an end, artists were tasked with using visual tools to imagine a new black, free population. Many sculptors chose to grapple with the issue of slavery including Whitney’s contemporaries William Wetmore Story and Edmonia Lewis. Whitney sculpted a number of black figures, with one commentator noting “I know no artist who has dared to treat the negro as proper subject for art but Whitney has done it over and over again," [7]. Like other sculptors, Whitney was challenged to form a way to visually understand the black body within neoclassicism. A figure’s social status and narrative were to be revealed by visual signs of gender, sex, class, and race during the process of viewing sculpture [8]. This visual vocabulary was still being created for black bodies in sculpture as they began to be considered figures worthy of high art [9]. Aesthetic constraints of the period shaped how Whitney envisioned Ethiopia and Toussaint L’Ouverture as part of the American visual landscape.

Fig. 2: Anne Whitney, Toussaint L’Ouverture in Prison, (1869-1871), plaster, destroyed, Photograph courtesy of the Wellesley College Archives, Papers of Anne Whitney.

Ethiopia was created in response to the Emancipation Proclamation that had been recently drafted by President Lincoln in 1862 [10]. Ethiopia was modelled to affirm the importance of the moment and its meaning to the formerly enslaved in the consciences of the American people [11]. The life-sized sculpture is an allegory of emancipation represented through the body of a mixed-race woman. The nude woman symbolises black America, blinded by the brightness of emancipated life. Her body reclines slightly as if she has just awoken to the realisation of an important moment in history. Whitney takes her inspiration from Psalms 68:31 that reads “Princes shall come out of Egypt and Ethiopia shall soon stretch out forth her hands unto God.” This often quoted Bible passage was interpreted by black Americans and abolitionists as evidence for prosperous ancient African civilisations and used to refute white supremacy [12]. Ethiopia was modelled in clay, then cast in plaster in 1863, but a marble completed version was never made [13]. The sculpture was exhibited in 1864 at a Boston gallery to raise money for the Union in the Civil War and in 1865 at the New York Nation Academy of Design.

Whitney uses a visual vocabulary in Ethiopia that attempts to resist popular racial stereotypes. Whitney borrows from William Wetmore Story’s Libyan Sibyl (1861) and Cleopatra (1869) of which both depict figures representative of black Americans [14]. Story depicts black women with facial features indictive of Africa, while avoiding the “grotesque” physiognomy of the “Congo,”[15]. Like Story, Whitney uses allegory and history to situate black Americans in the neoclassic ideal, normally reserved for white bodies [16]. The Libyan Sibyl as a “pre-Christian prophetess” symbolises Africa seeing its future of slavery while Cleopatra, in contemplation of her later suicide, represents the struggle of black people under the status of enslaved [17]. Whitney draws on Libyan Sibyl’s theme of seeing the fate of black America in Ethiopia. The Libyan Sibyl looks “out of her black eyes into futurity and sees the terrible fate of her race,” whereas Whitney’s Ethiopia sees the present period of post-emancipation [18].

Unlike Story’s Libyan Sibyl, Ethiopia is represented as a mixed-race woman, a mulatta with one black parent and one white parent. Whitney uses the racial category of mulatta to place black womanhood in the neoclassical aesthetic where the white female nude took precedence [19]. Whitney used a white nineteen-year-old upper-class New England woman, Elizabeth Howard Bartol, as her model and it is likely that she stylised the sculpture’s hair based on Harriet Tubman [20]. Her use of a white model exposes Whitney’s intentions to situate Ethiopia in proximity of the white female nude. Although a black female figure, Ethiopia is modelled after the white female nude because of its status as the standard of beauty for the nineteenth century neoclassical aesthetic [21]. The mulatta was an extension of the white female nude through miscegenation and the mixed-race body was considered more acceptable and more visually appealing for white audiences, displacing the “full-blooded Negro” female nude [22]. Whitney struggles to depict Ethiopia’s black facial features because of this racial tension.

Some viewers praised Whitney’s Ethiopia celebrating the sculpture’s “bold magnificence, a wild abandonment, and at the same time a yearning aspiration in the expression of the face that both astonishes and excites a deeper sentiment of admiration.” The commentator further claimed that Ethiopia “positively offends by a voluptuousness amounting almost to a coarseness,” [23]. Another positive review of the sculpture commended the wonderful fusing of “African and Egyptian type of features…without bordering on the more vulgar and broader developments of the African peculiarity.” Others criticized her use of allegory and representation of black physiognomy. The National Academy of Design considered Ethiopia to be too safe, stating “Miss Whitney has only half dared, and between realism and idealism has made a woeful fall,” [24]. The white abolitionist commander of the first southern black regiment, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, privately encouraged Whitney to add more “Africanized features” to Ethiopia, arguing that “it is nothing for her to rise and abnegate her own features in rising she must rise as God made her or not at all.” Higginson even recommended a new black model to improve the work [25].

Fig. 3: Anne Whitney, Ethiopia Shall Soon Stretch Out Her Hands to God, or Africa, (1862–64), detail of the head, plaster, destroyed, Photograph courtesy of the Wellesley College Archives, Papers of Anne Whitney.

Fig. 4: Anne Whitney, Ethiopia Shall Soon Stretch Out Her Hands to God, or Africa (reworked 1865–66), detail of the head, plaster, destroyed, Photograph courtesy of the Wellesley College Archives, Papers of Anne Whitney.

Fig. 5: John Quincy Adams Ward, The Freedman, (1863), Bronze, 49.8 cm, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio.

In response, Whitney remodelled the facial features, hands and feet of Ethiopia from 1865-1866. She gave Ethiopia fuller lips, a wider nose and broader cheekbones in an attempt to depict an appropriate level of blackness (Figures 3 and 4) [26]. Before ultimately destroying the figure in dissatisfaction, she wrote in 1866, “I am not satisfied with the face of the woman. What it has gained in strength of feature, it has lost in feeling and expression,” [27]. Whitney destroyed Ethiopia sometime after 1874 but still considered the work to be “one of the best things [she] ever did.”28

Toussaint L’Ouverture in Prison (Figure 2) was created after Anne Whitney had modelled and exhibited Ethiopia, while she was trying to launch her public career in Rome [29]. In the sculpture, revolutionary leader of Saint Domingue, Toussaint L’Ouverture, is seated, eyes confronting the viewer. The general is barefoot, indicating his status as an enslaved man, and his bulging muscles suggest a strong, powerful body. Unlike Ethiopia, L’Ouverture’s African decent was made more visually apparent by his tightly curled hair, broad nose, and full lips. The figure is crouched with one hand behind his knee and his other pointing to the ground. The position suggests that L’Ouverture intends to rise or stand up at a moment’s notice. The sculpture was produced in Rome and exhibited in Boston by 1873 [30].

L’Ouverture was a repeated figure in Anne Whitney’s work. Whitney had written about Toussaint L’Ouverture in The Prisoner of St. Joux from her 1859 published Poems and likely returned to the subject in sculpture during her reflections on Ethiopia’s feature [31]. Instead of catering to the demand for “Africanized features” in an original allegory, Whitney turned to a male historical figure to avoid the restrictive aesthetic conventions of the mixed-race female nude [32]. Writing privately, Whitney “It is impossible, I think in art, thus to generalize, or to make an abstract of all possible African types. I should have sought to do the best with what I know of the negro,” [33]. Instead of attempting to merge black physiognomy with the neoclassical white female aesthetic through a half-black, half-white body, Whitney moved to sculpt a “full-bodied Negro” black male body [34]. Whitney’s friend, Wendell Phillips, also had given a speech praising Toussaint L’Ouverture in December 1861, in front of large a Boston crowd [35]. The artist was likely in attendance as the event was promoted in her abolitionist circle and was further inspired to create the sculpture. Nevertheless, the sculpture is never mentioned in Whitney’s letters, but scholars speculate that letters were discarded to hide from her family the fact that she was sculpting a half nude black man [37]. In sculpting Toussaint L’Ouverture, Whitney did not face the same difficultly situating the black male nude in neoclassicism as during the modelling of Ethiopia. The black male nude had begun to enter American public sculpture in the 1860s, although considered dangerous and racially inferior under dominating norms of white supremacy. The physique of the ideal black male nude became synonymous with the Emancipation Proclamation, conferring on the black man the status of freedom through the masculine body [38]. Whitney draws from John Quincy Adams Ward’s The Freedman (1863), which symbolises black Americans rising to the status of full citizenship [39]. L’Ouverture shares The Freedman’s (Figure 5) seated pose, black physiognomy, and “kinky” hair [40]. Whitney’s figure, however, does not look away from the viewer, wears a pair of trousers, and is slightly touching the ground. Whitney likely knew of The Freedman through her friend, American critic and art collector James Jackson Jarves who was enthusiastic about Ward’s depiction of American history [41]. Despite using the historical figure of Toussaint L’Ouverture, the sculpture was never completed due to nineteenth century political and social tensions.

Unlike depictions of powerful black women, Toussaint L’Ouverture’s power as a figure from recent history could not be safely contained by death or allegory due to the appropriation of Haiti’s narrative in contemporary politics [42]. Many Americans considered abolitionists in the 1830s and 1840s to be threats to the fabric of racial order [43]. Toussaint L’Ouverture originally was celebrated by abolitionists like Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison as a fearless leader who brought positive change to Saint Domingo by overthrowing ruling white planters. L’Ouverture’s leadership was used as a tool to convince Northern leaders to allow African American soldiers to fight in the American Civil War [44]. Whitney’s L’Ouverture, in his confronting gaze addressing the audience, is suggestive of the revolutionary fervor of 1860s. L’Ouverture is anxious to take his freedom whereas Ward’s Freedman sits in contemplation after his shackles are broken by someone else.

Both bodies are powerful, but Whitney’s figure eventually would have been considered a dangerous visual statement and a threat to white authority in its ability to inspire black Americans. Later during the Civil War, L’Ouverture was used by abolitionists to convince the American public of the necessity of emancipation. While black enslaved people could become courageous and patriotic, they also were capable of being violent and rebellious. Toussaint L’Ouverture eventually became synonymous with the complete overthrow of white supremacy and ruling social order [45]. After emancipation, L’Ouverture’s narrative was further appropriated to justify a racially oppressive labour system that contributed to the failure of Reconstruction [46]. Whitney’s knowledge of these political changes, through her involvement in the Boston abolitionist community, would have led her to ultimately destroy the sculpture.

There was also the issue of Whitney sculpting the black male enslaved body as a white upper-class woman. The sculpture meant that Whitney participated in the viewing of the body of a partially exposed black male. This would have been socially inappropriate for Anne Whitney as a white upper-class woman in the context of Northern United States. The artist herself may have felt comfortable sculpting a nude black male, but others would have felt differently. Shortly after sculpting Toussaint L’Ouverture, in 1874 Whitney won a contest for her depiction of Charles Sumner, a New England abolitionist senator. The committee, however, did not think it appropriate for a woman to model a man’s legs and the commission was ultimately awarded to Thomas Ball [47]. Whitney’s figure, although seated and dressed in contemporary trousers, still required knowledge of male anatomy [48]. The sculptor expressed her disagreement to family and friends with the committee’s decision and nevertheless continued to sculpt white men [49]. The sculptor, however, may have been made more aware of the restrictive gender dynamics that still existed with neoclassicism, as she had been made more sensitive to racialized physiognomy while working on Ethiopia. By sculpting Toussaint L’Ouverture, Whitney’s work was not just indexed by gender but also the social politics surrounding the population of newly emancipated black Americans. Thus, Toussaint L’Ouverture in Prison was eventually destroyed by the artist.

Anne Whitney, a female American neoclassical sculptor, struggled with the changing nineteenth century politics of representation and criticism surrounding her works Ethiopia Shall Soon Stretch Out Her Hands to God or Africa (1862-1864) and Toussaint L’Ouverture in Prison (1869-1871). She depicts contemporary issues that attempt to provide a visual vocabulary for newly emancipated black Americans. In Ethiopia and L’Ouverture, the artist is challenged and restricted by artistic and societal norms. Her frustration with the limits of Victorian society ultimately leads to the destruction of both works that scholars today recover through photographs. Nevertheless, Whitney contributes to the American visual landscape during a period where black people in America were increasingly emerging as the subjects of high art.


Margaret Farrand Thorp, “The White, Marmorean Flock,” The New England Quarterly, vol. 32, no. 2 (1959), p.159.

Melissa Dabakis, “Antislavery Sermons in Stone,” A Sisterhood of Sculptors: American Artists in Nineteeth-Century Rome, (University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2014) p.157.

Melissa Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” Seeing High and Low: Representing Social Conflict in American Visual Culture, ed. Patricia Johnston (Berkley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 2006), p.84.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.86.

Whitney’s Lady Godiva was sculpted in 1962 as a feminist response to accusations of female sculptors being unable to sculpt their own work. See Elizabeth Rogers Payne, “Anne Whitney: Art and Social Justice,” The Massachusetts Review, vol. 12, no. 2, (Spring 1971), p.245-260.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.86.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.89.

Charmaine A. Nelson, “Introduction: Toward a Black Feminist Art History,” The Color of Stone: Sculpting the Black Female Subject in Nineteenth-Century America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007), p.xiii.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.89.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.89.

Bernard F. Reilly, Jr., “Art of the Antislavery Movement,” Courage and conscience: Black & white abolitionists in Boston, ed. Donald M. Jacobs (Bloomington, Indiana: For the Boston Athenaeum by Indiana University Press, 1993), p.47.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.90.

Dabakis, “Antislavery Sermons in Stone,” p.157.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.86.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.88.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.88.

Charmaine A. Nelson, “Racing the Body: Reading Blackness in William Wetmore Story’s Cleopatra,” The Color of Stone: Sculpting the Black Female Subject in Nineteenth-Century America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007), p.143-158.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.87.

Charmaine A. Nelson, “’So Pure and Celestial a Light’: Sculpture, Marble, and Whiteness as a Privileged Racial Signifier,” The Color of Stone: Sculpting the Black Female Subject in Nineteenth-Century America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007), p.68-72.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.89 Payne, “Anne Whitney,” p.245-260.

Nelson, “’So Pure and Celestial a Light,’” p.68-72.

Charmaine A. Nelson, “The Color of Slavery: Degrees of Blackness and the Bodies of Female Slaves,” The Color of Stone: Sculpting the Black Female Subject in Nineteenth-Century America (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007), p.127 Dabakis, “Antislavery Sermons in Stone,” p.165-166.

Dabakis, “Antislavery Sermons in Stone,” p.160 Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.90-92

Dabakis, “Antislavery Sermons in Stone,” p.162 Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.92.

Dabakis, “Antislavery Sermons in Stone,” p.162 Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.92.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.92 Nelson, “The Color of Slavery,” p.129

Dabakis, “Antislavery Sermons in Stone,” 162 Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.92.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.89 Dabakis, “Antislavery Sermons in Stone,” p.157.

Nancy J. Scott, “‘Dear Home’: a sculptor's view from Rome, 1867-71: the unpublished letters of Anne Whitney.,” Sculpture Journal, vol. 17, no. 1, p.19.

Anne Whitney, “Prisoner of St. Joux,” Poems, (Boston: Merrymount Press, 1906) Scott, “‘Dear Home,’” p.32

Dabakis, “Antislavery Sermons in Stone,” p.162 Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.92-94

Dabakis, “Antislavery Sermons in Stone,” p.162 Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.92.

Nelson, “The Color of Slavery,” p.127.

“Wendell Phillips: Dear Home, The Letters of Anne Whitney,” Wellesley College Archives (date of late access 15 April 2019)

Matthew J. Clavin, “A Second Haitian Revolution,” Toussaint Louverture and the American Civil War : The Promise and Peril of a Second Haitian Revolution, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), p.77-82.

Michael Hatt, “‘Making a Man of Him’: Masculinity and the Black Body in Mid-Nineteenth-Century American Sculpture,” Oxford Art Journal, vol. 15, non. 1, (March 1992), p.25-29.

Hatt, “‘Making a Man of Him,’” p.30.

Nelson, “The Color of Slavery,” p.127.

Scott, “‘Dear Home,’” p.31 Hatt, “‘Making a Man of Him,’” p.30.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.87.

Dabakis, “Ain’t I A Woman?,” p.85.

Clavin, “A Second Haitian Revolution,” p.77-85.

Clavin, “A Second Haitian Revolution,” p.99-111.

Clavin, “A Second Haitian Revolution,” p.116.

Eleanor Tufts, “An American Victorian Dilemma, 1875: Should a Woman Be Allowed to Sculpt a Man?,” Art Journal, vol. 51, no. 1, (Spring 1992), p.51-55.

Janet A. Headley, “Anne Whitney’s ‘Leif Eriksson’: A Brahmin Response to Christopher Columbus,” American Art, vol. 17, no. 2 (Summer 2003), p.40-59.

Papers of Anne Whitney, 1834-1915: a guide. MSS.4

Anne Whitney (1821-1915) was a poet and sculptor who lived and worked in the Boston area. She was raised in Watertown, the youngest of seven children in a liberal Unitarian family. Whitney ran a small school in Salem from 1846-1848 and published a volume of poetry before turning to sculpture in the late 1850s, studying in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia as well as Italy and France. Whitney took on challenging subject matter her Africa depicts a woman awakening from the sleep of slavery and her Roma represents the plight of Roman citizens under the papacy. She created a number of busts and statues, most notably Samuel Adams in the United States Capitol, Charles Sumner in Harvard Square in Cambridge, and Leif Erikson on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Boston. As a philanthropist, Whitney worked for organizations supporting abolition, women's suffrage, and the New England landscape.

Whitney met her longtime partner, the painter Addy Manning (1836-1906), while boarding at Manning's family home in Brooklyn in 1859 they were together until Manning's death.

The Whitney family had ties to Wellesley College. Whitney's mother was invited to the opening of the College and Whitney herself taught here for at least a semester she was a friend of President Alice Freeman Palmer and her husband George Herbert Palmer, as well as Wellesley professors Eben Horsford and Vita Scudder. Wellesley College owns seven of Whitney's sculptures, including portraits of the Palmers and Horsford, and a bronze cast of Roma her seated Harriet Martineau was a focal point in College Hall until it was destroyed in the 1914 fire.

Scope and Content

The majority of this collection is made up of Whitney's correspondence with her family, friends, and partner Addy Manning. Other correspondents include contemporary artists, writers, and social activists. Most letters are either to or from Whitney, although some are to her sister Sarah, Manning, and others. The content of the correspondence covers Whitney's personal and professional life, as well as current events and her travels to Europe. There is a small amount of material pertaining to Whitney's finances, including documentation of stock purchases and donation receipts, in addition to three albums of photographs, genealogical information, correspondence relating to the campaign to boycott the slogan "Remember the Maine," manuscript copies of Whitney's poems and a study of French art, and photographs of Whitney's sculptures. Also included are items which belonged to Addy Manning, including her diaries, commonplace books, and engagement books. Biographer and Wellesley alumna Elizabeth Rogers Payne '26 worked with the collection in the 1960s.


This collection is divided into six series: I. Correspondence II. Personal III. Business, Charity, and Activism IV. Writings V. Addy Manning VI. Photographs. The Correspondence series is organized chronologically and alphabetically by correspondent.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Wellesley College Archives


Access to fragile and digitized materials may be restricted.


Copyright in some papers in the collection may be held by the authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission on the holder(s) of copyright before publishing quotations from any material in the collection.

Custodial History

The bulk of the correspondence in this collection was willed by Anne Whitney to her friend, writer Olive Tilford Dargan, for eventual publication. Mrs. Dargan, however, was unable to do so and instead gave the papers to Antoinette Rotan Peterson, who gifted them to Wellesley College in 1944. Elizabeth Rogers Payne worked with the collection in the 1960s. During this time, she was allowed to remove documents from the library to facilitate her research. Two scrapbooks listed in a 1960 inventory disappeared after Payne's death.

Acquisition Information

The papers were a gift of Antoinette Rotan Peterson to the Wellesley College Library in 1944. Accruals have been made to the collection.

Processing History

An inventory of the collection was completed in 1960 by Whitney biographer Elizabeth Rogers Payne. The organization she created was largely kept intact in the current arrangement. This is most notable in the separation of alphabetical and chronological correspondence. Numerous notes were added to the collection, most of which have now been removed. Payne's notations on the original documents remain.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Chrissy Hartman, under the guidance of Jane A. Callahan, Spring 2012.

Related Materials

Related Materials

Wellesley College Special Collections holds both editions of Anne Whitney's poetry. In addition, the Davis Museum holds seven of her sculptures. Archives also houses the typescript of Elizabeth Rogers Payne's unpublished biography of Anne Whitney.

Collection Inventory

Scope and Content

The series contains correspondence between Anne Whitney and her friends, family, colleagues, and associates. The content of the correspondence focuses on Whitney's family, travel, and business. The correspondence was divided into two subseries, with an alphabetical and a chronological organization, by Whitney biographer Elizabeth Rogers Payne. The chronological subseries chiefly documents her travels and is mainly comprised of correspondence between Whitney, Manning, and Whitney's sister Sarah. The alphabetical series consists mainly of correspondence to Whitney. Notations including dates and the identification of correspondents on the letters and envelopes come mostly from Payne.

Some letters from the series have been catalogued individually and are stored in the following boxes:

MSS.4.101-150: Oversize Box 10

MSS.4.151-200: Oversize Box 11

MSS.4.201-250: Oversize Box 12

MSS.4.251-300: Oversize Box 13

MSS.4.301-354: Oversize Box 14

Scope and Content

Contains correspondence between Anne Whitney, her sister Sarah, and Addy Manning. The majority of the letters written by Anne Whitney appear in this subseries. Included are letters documenting Whitney's visits to Europe, New Orleans, and Cuba.

Scope and Content

Contains correspondence between Anne Whitney and her family, friends, artistic contemporaries, fellow authors, business associates, and social activists. The series has letters both to and from Whitney, as well as some in which she is not a correspondent. Major correspondents include Fidelia Bridges, Maria Weston Chapman, Louise Imogen Guiney, Antoinette Rotan Peterson, Reverend George S. Pratt, and Margaret Whitney Pratt. Some folders contain poems, postcards, holiday cards, newspaper articles, or other items.

General note

Associated institution: The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

General note

Associated institution: Massachusetts Forestry Association

General note

Associated institution: Elizabeth Peabody House

General note

Associated institution: Massachusetts Association for Promoting the Interests of the Blind

General note

Associated institution: The Home Magazine

General note

Associated institution: Memorial Home for the Blind

General note

Associated institution: Women's Educational and Industrial Union

General note

Associated institution: Denison House

General note

Associated institution: Women's Educational and Industrial Union

General note

Associated institution: Women's Educational and Industrial Union

General note

Associated institution: The Public

General note

1 letter includes a watercolor painting

General note

Associated institution: Mount Vernon Church

General Note

Includes Whitney's thoughts on her statue of Harriet Martineau dictated by Whitney to Scudder.

General note

Associated institution: Charles L. Webster & Co., Publishers

General note

Associated institution: Women's Christian Temperance Union

General note

Associated institution: Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute

General note

Includes envelope of materials relating to Sarah Stone Whitney's 100th birthday as well as a copy of a poem read at her funeral

General note

Contains silhouette cutouts

General note

Associated institution: Women's Christian Temperance Union

Scope and Content

Contains the contents of Anne Whitney's "private drawer," information about the Whitney family genealogy, and correspondence between Olive Tilford Dargan and Charley Fay discussing Whitney's estate after her death.

Scope and Content

Contains financial and real estate documentation about Whitney's stock holdings and properties, as well as business letters concerning legal affairs, charitable giving, and a petition to ban the slogan 'Remember the Maine."

Scope and Content

Contains holographs of Whitney's poetry, three manuscripts on French art, and a few loose poems.

Scope and Content

Contains items that were created by Adeline Manning, including commonplace books, journals, engagement calendars, a recipe book, and an oil painting of Anne Whitney. Also includes three photograph albums of cartes de visite depicting contemporaries and photographs of artist models, sites and art which were collected by Manning during her travels.

Scope and Content

Contains photographs of Whitney's art, some of which were taken by A. Sbracia, a photographer in Rome. Others were taken by Marshall & Co., Boston photographers who were part of an artists' collective known as the Studio Building, which burned down in 1906. A number of the photographs are glued to brown paper pages that appear to have come from an album or scrapbook. Some of the individual photographs in the collection may also have been removed from these pages. Additionally, there are three modern prints in this collection, which also have their original counterparts present, either within the same folder or as part of the scrapbook pages.

Araya coordinates and develops the Whitney’s teen programs including Youth Insights and drop-in teen events. Before joining the Education department, she was the Manager of Youth and Family Programs at the Hudson River Museum. Araya is an avid gardener.

Megan develops and oversees all adult public programs, including artists’ talks, lectures, panel discussions, workshops, and courses. Prior to joining the Whitney in 2014, she was a Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow in the Modern and Contemporary Art Department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she previously worked in the curatorial and education departments at the New Museum. She is completing a Ph.D. in art and archaeology at Princeton University.

Woman of the Century/Anne Whitney

WHITNEY, Miss Anne, sculptor, was born in Watertown, Mass , the youngest child of a large family. She is descended from the earliest New England colonists, and can trace her ancestry to an eminent English family that flourished before the colonies were founded. Her parents were of the advanced liberal thinkers of their time, and were among the earliest converts to what is called Liberal Christianity. From them she inherits a large faith in humanity, a vital belief in the possibilities of human betterment, and an unflinching hostility to every form of oppression and injustice. Her childhood and youth were passed under most favorable conditions. Whatever would contribute to her development was furnished by her parents, and she was taught in the best schools, under the instruction of the noblest teachers. The center of a loving household, she was encompassed with affection and was wisely cared for in all respects. She very- early expressed herself in poetry, for she possessed a high order of imaginative power, and it seemed certain, for some few years, that she would devote herself to literature. Her earlier poems have never been collected, and not until 1859 did she publish a volume of poems. Their quality was very remarkable, and they were as original as they were vigorous. Stately in rhythm and large in thought and feeling, they are earnest, strong and courageous. The ablest reviewers pronounced them "unexcelled in modern times." A mere accident gave a different bent to her genius, and she decided to make sculpture her profession, and began to work immediately. There were not a dozen persons in New England at that time working in sculpture, and there were no teachers. Her own genius and her native force were called into requisition, for she had no other resource. Her first work was portrait busts of her father and mother, which proved that she had not mistaken her vocation. Then she attempted her first ideal work, putting into marble her beautiful conception of "Lady Godiva," which was exhibited in Boston. That was followed by "Africa," a colossal statue of another type It was a masterpiece of genius, and w:is received by the public in a most gratifying manner. "The Lotus-Eater," as fabled by the ancients and reproduced by Tennyson, was her next work, and then she went to Europe, where she spent five years, studying, drawing and modeling in the great art centers of the Old World. While abroad, she executed several very fine statues, "The Chaldean Astronomer," studying the stars "Toussaint L'Ouverture." the St. Domingo chief, statesman and governor, and "Roma," which has been called a "thinking statue." She returned home with completer technical skill and larger conceptions of art, and has worked diligently since in her studio. The State of Massachusetts commissioned her to make a statue in marble of Samuel Adams, the Revolutionary patriot, for the national gallery in Washington, and one in bronze for Adams square, Boston. She went to Rome to execute the commission, and while abroad spent another year in Paris, where she made three heads, one of a beautiful girl, an- other of a roguish peasant child, and the third an old peasant woman, coiffed with the marmotte, who could not be kept awake, and so Miss Whitney modeled her asleep. The last, in bronze, is to be seen in the Art Museum, Boston. Her latest great works are a sitting statue of Harriet Martineau, the most eminent Englishwoman of the present century, which is of marble and of heroic size. It stands in Wellesley College, Massachusetts. The other is an ideal statue of "Lief Ericsson," the young Norseman, who, A. D. 1000, sailed from Norway, and, skirting Iceland and Greenland, sailed into Massa- chusetts Bay and discovered America. It is colossal in size and in bronze, and stands at the entrance of a park, near Commonwealth avenue, Boston. A replica of that statue stands in Milwaukee on the lake bluff. Of medallions, fountains and portrait busts Miss Whitney has made many. She has made portrait busts of President Steams, of Amherst College President Walker, of Harvard Professor Pickering, of Harvard: William Lloyd Garrison, Hon. Samuel Sewall, of Boston Mrs. Alice Freeman Palmer, ex-president of Wellesley College Adeline Manning, Miss Whitney's inseparable friend and house-mate Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frances E. Willard, Lucy Stone, Mary A. Livermore and others. She will exhibit several of her works in the World's Fair, in Chicago, in 1893. Her home is on the western slope of Beacon Hill, where she passes much of her diligent and devoted life, and where are clustered many of her most beautiful sketches, for her studio is peopled with "the beings of her mind."

A Broadside Project Inspired by the Letters of Anne Whitney

Excerpt from MSS.4.270, Wellesley College Archives.
Letter from Anne Whitney to her sister Sarah Whitney, March 3, 1869.

This semester, Library and Technology Services (LTS) and Professor Jacqueline Musacchio of the Art Department are collaborating on a project involving the letters of nineteenth-century American poet and sculptor Anne Whitney, which are held by the Wellesley College Archives. Students in Professor Musacchio’s first-year seminar — Art, Tourism, and Gender in Late Nineteenth-Century Italy — and four independent study students are using Whitney’s letters as original source material in their coursework. They have been working closely with the originals and the newly created digital surrogates of the letters by transcribing and annotating them. The independent study students also had the opportunity to work with the text of the letters in another way: they spent some time in the Book Arts Lab (BAL) making handmade paper and then printing a broadside with a transcription from one of Whitney’s letters detailing her travels to Rome.

Professor Musacchio chose a passage from a letter dated March 3, 1869, in which Whitney describes to her sister a popular tourist activity of the day. Visitors to Rome would illustrate a copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1860 novel The Marble Faun with photographs and then have the book specially bound to bring home as a souvenir.

Making the paper for the broadside project.

The broadside project began a few weeks ago when BAL staff and Professor Musacchio’s independent study students pulled sheets of handmade paper for use in printing the broadside. The paper was made with premium Ecuadorian abaca, which provided thin, crisp sheets, mimicking the paper Whitney actually wrote on. This process involved beating the fibers into a fine pulp that was placed in a vat. The students then used a mold and deckle to pull the fibers into flat sheets, which were then transferred to felts so they could be pressed and dried.

After the paper dried, Professor Musacchio’s independent study students printed the broadside on their handmade sheets using the Vandercook printing press, an automated press that allows one to quickly print many copies of the same image. The press does this by evenly distributing ink through a series of rollers powered by a motor, and then re-inking what is in the press bed on the return trip.

The type for the printed broadside was set using the Arrighi typeface.

The BAL staff chose to set Whitney’s quotation in Arrighi, an italic typeface with Italian origins that imitates the handwritten script of her letters. An illustration from an early edition of Hawthorne’s novel that depicts a statue of the marble faun was reproduced as a carved block for printing on the broadside.

The original illustration of The Marble Faun and a specially carved block of the illustration.

To create this print, the title and the quotation were set into the press bed first and printed in a sepia tone. Then, the image of the marble faun was printed in gold ink above the title and quotation. These broadsides were printed in an edition large enough for each of the independent study students and the first-year seminar students to receive a copy.

Book Arts Program Director Katherine McCanless Ruffin holds the finished broadside.

Dani Ezor 󈧑 is majoring in Art History and Studio Arts, and is a student employee in the Book Arts Lab.

Friend, Cousin, Brother? Part I

Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon was born 4 March 1526 to Mary Boleyn and William Carey who married on 4 February 1520. Mary was the eldest daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1 st Earl of Wiltshire and Lady Elizabeth Howard, eldest daughter of Thomas Howard, 2 nd Duke of Norfolk. Mary was the sister to Anne Boleyn, second wife to Henry VIII.

Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon

Mary Boleyn, was born most likely at Blickling Hall and reared at Hever Castle with no evidence of an exact date for her birth most historians place it in the year 1499. Mary, tutored at home along with her siblings George and Anne, received a conventional education until 1514. Her father arranged for her to become a maid-of-honor to Mary Tudor, sister to Henry VIII, who was soon to become the bride of King Louis XII of France. Mary Tudor was widowed shortly after her wedding and returned home. Mary Boleyn’s reputation through generations has implied affairs with French courtiers and even the new King of France Francis I. Mary Boleyn became a maid-of-honor to Catherine of Aragon and shortly after wed Sir William Carey. It was believed that she began an affair with King Henry around this time. This was not a publicized liaison but the evidence is difficult to shift through. Was the relationship not well-known at the time or was it suppressed later? After Henry VIII had discarded Catherine due to the rise in his conscience of marrying the wife of his brother (against scripture Leviticus 20:21), could he have destroyed all evidence of an affair once he became determined to marry Anne? If he had fathered children by Mary, would he also have repressed those facts?

Blickling Hall June 2012

Hever Castle 2007

Evidence is strong that Henry VIII did have an affair with Mary Boleyn. Paul Friedmann relays that Dr. Ortiz, the Spanish theologian sent to Rome to assist the cause of Catherine of Aragon, “wrote to the empress, ‘that some time ago he [Henry] sent to ask his holiness for a dispensation to marry her, notwithstanding the affinity between them on account of his having committed adultery with her sister.’ In 1529 Charles V had already heard of the matter. Charles declared that Henry’s conscientious scruples did not seem to be justified, especially ‘if it were true, as his said Majesty had heard (although he himself would not positively affirm it), that the said king had kept company with the sister of her whom he now, it was stated, wanted to marry.’ In 1532, Eustache Chapuis speaks of the former adultery of Henry with Mary Boleyn as a well-known fact of which there can be no doubt. ‘Even if,’ he writes, ‘he could separate from the queen, he could not have her [Anne], for he has had to do with her sister.’ Such, in the main, are the arguments for the opinion that Mary Carey had been the mistress of Henry” (Friedmann 325-327).

Mary Boleyn Carey William Carey

Of course, there is the famous incident of Sir George Throgmorton speaking to the king of the rumor that Henry had improper relations with Anne’s mother and sister, and “Henry replied, ‘Never with the mother’ and Cromwell, who was present, added, ‘Nor with the sister either.’” (Friedman 326). Could even Henry VIII have been such a hypocrite to justify marriage to Anne Boleyn after he had discarded Catherine of Aragon for being the wife of his brother? One must remember, Henry desperately wanted to marry Anne.

Another rumor passed down through the centuries is that Henry Carey was the natural son of Henry VIII. If this were true, would the king have recognized the boy as such? After all, Henry had acknowledged Henry FitzRoy, the child he had with Elizabeth Blount, and rewarded him accordingly. The difference is the king did not want to marry Elizabeth Blount’s sister. Would measures have been taken at the time to suppress the truth? Even if Henry had acknowledged Mary’s child, would he have disposed of all official records two to three years later when he became infatuated with Anne?

Henry FitzRoy

Allison Weir is adamant that Henry did not father Mary Boleyn Carey’s child (Weir Lady in the Tower 309-310). This blogger also wonders if Anne would have obligingly taken the wardship of Henry Carey when William Carey died if she thought he could be a threat to her own children as an illegitimate son to the king? Very few contemporary sources mention this possibility. John Haile*, vicar of Isleworth, wrote on April 20, 1535, that Morever, Mr. Skydmore dyd show to me yongge Master Care, saying that he was our suffren Lord the Kynge’s son by our suffren Lady the Qwyen’s syster, whom the Qwyen’s grace might not suffer to be yn the Cowrte ” ( Hoskins) .

Mary’s disgrace came in 1534 when she secretly married a soldier, William Stafford. As a second son of a modestly wealthy landowner, William’s prospects were not great. Queen Anne was furious and banished her sister from Court. After her siblings were executed in 1536, her parents died within a short time period. As sole heir Mary then inherited some family property. She lived comfortably and quietly until her death in July of 1543.

Thomas Boleyn Believed to be Elizabeth Boleyn

When William Carey died of the sweating sickness 23 June 1528, Anne Bolyen was granted Henry’s wardship. He benefited enormously as Anne had him educated by “Nicholas Bourbon, a French humanist and other prominent educators” (Warnicke 148). This patronage came to an end when Anne was executed in May of 1536 Henry was ten years old.

Anne Morgan, the daughter of Sir Thomas Morgan and Anne Whitney, was his bride on 21 May 1545. The couple would eventually have 12 children. In 1547, Henry was elected as a member of Parliament for Buckingham where he served for many years. During the reign of Edward VI, he received several manors to provide a living for him and his family. Soon after the accession of Elizabeth Regina, Henry received a knighthood (his wife was appointed as a Lady of the Privy Chamber) and was elevated to the peerage by letters patent, as Baron Hunsdon. Along with the peerage was a grant of the estate of Hunsdon in Hertfordshire and a pension of £4,000 a year “(according to the valuation in that age) in fair desmesnes, parks, and lands lying about it” (Fuller 47).

Anne Morgan, Lady Hunsdon, portrait is displayed at Hatfield House

*John Haile was one of the first priests to die as a result of the Act of Supremacy (not acknowledging Henry VIII as Head of the Church). He, along with several others, was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on 4 May 1535. Haile was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886.

Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon Part II will follow as the next published blog entry.

Watch the video: Por si no lo viste: Anne With An E (January 2022).