Edmonia Lewis Google doodle honors 19th century artist behind “The Death of Cleopatra” sculpture
Google recognizes Lewis as the first female of African-American and Native American descent to become a world-renowned sculptor.
As we kick off Black History Month, Google is continuing to spotlight Americans who have pushed boundaries, with today’s doodle celebrating American sculptor Edmonia Lewis.
Born in New York in 1844, Google recognizes Lewis as the first US female of African-American and Native American descent to become a world-renowned sculptor.
The doodle depicts Lewis with one of her most famous works, “The Death of Cleopatra,” which is kept at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. Google says the vibrant colors of the Google letters within the doodle pay tribute to Lewis’ Native American heritage.
From the Google Doodle Blog:
At age 15, Lewis enrolled in Oberlin College, which is where she became passionate about art. Unfortunately however, her time at Oberlin was fraught with discrimination by many of her peers and the surrounding community. It was due to this that she was prevented from enrolling in her final term, and therefore was unable to receive her degree.
Fortunately, Lewis was able to find an apprenticeship position under Edward Brackett and eventually had a solo exhibition of her work in 1864. She later moved to Rome, where she surrounded herself with other ex-pat artists and built her own studio.
“Lewis’s legacy continues to thrive through her art and the path she helped forge for women and artists of color. Today, we celebrate her and what she stands for — self-expression through art, even in the face of adversary,” writes Google on its Doodle blog.
Designed by Sophie Diao, the doodle leads to a search for “Edmonia Lewis” and includes a sharing icon to post the doodle on social pages or send via email.
This is the second doodle in less than a week to celebrate a woman of African-American and Native American descent who rose above the odds. While Bessie Coleman was a first-class aviator and Lewis an artist, both chose to leave the US early in their careers in order to create the life they wanted.
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