that were acutely resonant in America: implicit in Scottish discourse is the
notion that while women in premodern or non-market societies are objec-
tified, treated as drudges and slaves, white women are viewed as ‘subjects,’ as
fully human persons with specific identities, desires, and emotions.”
10 Whittier, “The Indian Question [Read at the meeting in Boston, May, 1883,
for the consideration of the condition of the Indians in the United States],”
Reform and Politics, 148–50.
11 Morrison, Playing in the Dark, 52.
12 Ibid., 7.
13 Baxandall, Patterns of Intention, 42.
14 Ibid., 107.
15 Ibid., 30–36.
16 Hatt, “‘The Body in Question,’” 610.
17 Baxandall, Patterns of Intention, 47.
1 I N V E N T I N G T H E A R T I S T
1 Bearden and Henderson, A History of African-American Artists, 60. Lewis,
in not being allowed to register for her final term, was essentially expelled
from Oberlin for reasons that will be explained in this chapter. Bearden and
Henderson speculate on Lewis’s reaction: “Humiliated, Lewis was deter-
mined to show that Oberlin had misjudged and mistreated her. In the Chip-
pewa tradition, revenge for humiliation is required, according to Henry R.
Schoolcraft. Lewis set out to expose the falsity of the accusations and the
hypocrisy of [Marianne] Dascomb by demonstrating her skills and determi-
nation.”
2 The model for my own work on Lewis’s career is indebted to Elizabeth
Johns’s Thomas Eakins and a seminar by Thomas Crow on the career of Geri-
cault held at the University of Michigan during the winter semester of 1993.
3 In 1866, Lewis revealed in an interview with Henry Wreford of the Athe-
naeum that her father was “a negro” and “a gentleman’s servant.” Henry
Wreford, “A Negro Sculptress,” 302.
4 The first, most complete biography was contained in Bearden and Hender-
son, A History of African-American Artists, 54–63. Unless indicated other-
wise, all early biographical details derive from this source. See also Wolfe,
Edmonia Lewis.
5 The passport application is reproduced in Wolfe, Edmonia Lewis, 13. This
rough chronology of Lewis’s life, and the inconsistency of Lewis herself in
relating that chronology, is also supported by the artist’s biographer, Marilyn
Richardson, in “Edmonia Lewis’ The Death of Cleopatra,” 44.
6 Bearden and Henderson, A History of African-American Artists, 54–55. See
also Richardson, “Edmonia Lewis at McGrawville,” 242.
7 Wreford, “A Negro Sculptress, 302. If the date of her birth, 1844, is accurate
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