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Edmonia Lewis often drew upon her dual ancestry for inspiration. Her best-known work, Forever Free (1867, Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), was inspired by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment, the document issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 calling for the freeing of slaves in the United States. Created in marble, Forever Free depicts a man and a woman who have learned of their freedom. In an expression of gratitude, the woman kneels with her hands clasped; the man rests his foot on the ball that held them in bondage, raising his arm to display the broken shackle and chain on his wrist.

Little is known about Lewis's early life. Sources give differing birth dates (1843, 1844, and 1845 and birthplaces Ohio New York and New Jersey Her father was an African American and her mother was a member ...

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Leora Maltz Leca

painter and sculptor, was born in Junction City, Kansas, but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at a young age with her parents and younger sister, Lauren. There, the artist grew up, drawing and painting since her earliest years, with her interest in art encouraged by a creative and supportive family. Stout attended Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, graduating with a degree in art in 1980. Throughout her high school and college years, Stout cultivated—and perfected—a precise, photographic realism, inspired by the works of Edward Hopper and others. A postcollege stint as a signmaker at a local thrift store helped the artist develop a facility for lettering and signage, along with a fondness for text that informs her work to this day.

An extremely versatile artist adept at working in a range of materials and media Stout most often explores the terrain between painting and sculpture in visually complex and ...

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Krystofer A. Meadows

abstract artist, printmaker, and sculptor, was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the youngest of eight children of Ruth Voight, a schoolteacher, and Erlan Thompson, a pharmacist. As a little girl, she knew that she wanted to be an artist. Her earliest efforts were in photography, processing and developing prints in the darkroom that her father built for-her. Thompson graduated from Old Stanton High School in 1953. Her father wanted her to attend Florida A&M, but she insisted on going to Howard University in Washington, D.C. Although she had spent many years painting, Thompson entered Howard without any formal training in art. At Howard she studied with James A. Porter, an artist and the author of the 1942 book Modern Negro Art the definitive study of African American art in its time Porter was influential in Thompson s development as an artist and was ...