Great Washington Museums Celebrate Great Women Artists is a NMWA-organized collaborative city-wide project highlighting works by women artists. During 2012, institutions throughout the Washington area are featuring an array of signature works by women artists that have enriched their distinguished collections. This landmark program, in conjunction with NMWA’s 25th anniversary celebration, continues NMWA’s dedication to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. This excerpt explores one of the the U.S. Capitol’s signature works by a woman artist, Vinnie Ream’s statue of Abraham Lincoln. Visit www.nmwa.org and download the pdf map to begin your journey!
Vinnie Ream’s statue of Abraham Lincoln is the first work of art commissioned by the United States government from a woman artist. Ream (later Vinnie Ream Hoxie) was only 18 years old when the Congress commissioned it in 1866. She had previously sculpted a bust of Lincoln. After making a full-size model for the statue in her Capitol studio, she took it to Italy for carving. The statue, completed in 1870, was installed in the Capitol in 1871. Lincoln is shown looking pensively at the Emancipation Proclamation in his right hand. Later, the sculptor created two statues for the National Statuary Hall Collection. On permanent display in the Capitol Rotunda.
Architect of the Capitol; Website: www.aoc.gov