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Harriet Goodhue Hosmer

Harriet Goodhue HosmerBorn: 9-Oct-1830
Birthplace: Watertown, MA
Died: 21-Feb-1908
Location of death: Watertown, MA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Lesbian
Occupation: Sculptor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: 19th c. American sculptor in Rome

American sculptor, born at Watertown, Massachussetts, on the 9th of October 1830. Her brothers having died from tuberculosis, she was raised as a boy. Harriet early showed marked aptitude for modelling, and studied anatomy with her father, a physician, and afterwards at the St. Louis Medical College. She then studied in Boston until 1852, when, with her friend Charlotte Cushman, she went to Rome, where from 1853 to 1860 she was the pupil of the English sculptor John Gibson. She lived in Rome until a few years before her death. There she was associated with Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thorwaldsen, Flaxman, Thackeray, George Eliot and George Sand; and she was frequently the guest of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning at Casa Guidi, in Florence. Among her works are "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 St. Louis Museum of Fine Arts; "Beatrice Cenci" (1857), for the Mercantile Library of St. Louis; "Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, in Chains" (1859), now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; "A Sleeping Faun" (1867); "A Waking Faun"; a bronze statue of Thomas Hart 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; a fountain for Central Park, New York City; a monument to Abraham Lincoln; and, for the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893, statues of the queen of Naples as the "heroine of Gata", and of Queen Isabella of Spain. After return to America as an established artist, Hosmer dabbled trying to invent a perpetual motion machine. She died at Watertown on the 21st of February 1908.

Girlfriend: Louisa Ashburton

    University: St. Louis Medical College

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