Sculptor Edmonia Lewis attended Oberlin College and moved to Boston in 1863. She received formal instruction in sculpture and opened her studio at Tremont and Bromfield Streets. She boldly embraced her black and Native American Ojibwa (Chippewa) heritage in her work and marketing. Edmonia Lewis witnessed the departure of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, and the following year she received a commission to create several plaster likenesses and this marble bust of Colonel Shaw, who was killed at the Battle of Fort Wagner. Recognized as the nation’s first major black sculptor, Lewis departed America at age 20 to pursue her career in Europe.


  • Title: Robert Gould Shaw
  • Creator: Lewis, Edmonia (c.1845-c.1911)
  • Date Created: 1864
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Rights: No known rights restrictions. Credit: Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket, 154
  • External Link: 360° view of this sculpture
  • Medium: Sculpture, Marble
  • Collection: Freedom Rising Civil War Collection

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