Vinnie Ream: An American Sculptor

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9780897335058: Vinnie Ream: An American Sculptor
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She was able, through clever maneuvering and dogged determination, to achieve a commission from the Congress for a life-sized statue of the assassinated president—this despite the very real animus against women artists at that time, which is apparent in the heated arguments against granting her the Lincoln commission—arguments spearheaded in the Senate by Charles Sumner of Massachusetts.

Steeped in the history of her time, Vinnie Ream was involved with dozens of senators and congressmen and other powerful men—not least of all Generals Sherman and Custer—and her studio on Capitol Hill became a legendary stopping place for many admirers and tourists. Her statue of Lincoln stands in the rotunda of the capitol building; her statue of Admiral Farragut stands in a Washington, D.C. park; other works are in Statuary Hall and various museums. This is an engaging biography of a spirited female artist, and an effective portrait of Washington, D.C. in the Civil War era.

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Book Description:

One of America’s least known and controversial women artists of the Civil War era was Vinnie Ream, who sculpted a bust of Abraham Lincoln from life when she was only sixteen years old and had almost no artistic training.   She was able, through clever maneuvering and dogged determination, to achieve a commission from the Congress for a life-sized statue of the assassinated president – this despite the very real animus against women artists at that time, which is apparent in the heated arguments against granting her the Lincoln commission – arguments spearheaded in the Senate by Charles Sumner of Massachusetts.   Steeped in the history of her time, Vinnie Ream was involved with dozens of senators and congressmen and other powerful men – not the least of all Generals Sherman and Custer – and her studio on Capitol Hill became a legendary stopping place for many admirers and tourists. Her statue of Lincoln stands in the rotunda of the capitol building; her statue of Admiral Farragut stands in a Washington, D.C. park; other works are in Statuary Hall and various museums. This is a spirited and engaging biography of an important women artist, and an effective portrait of Washington, D.C. in the Civil War era.  

About the Author:

Edward S. Cooper is the author of Traitors: The Secession Period: November 1860-July 1861 (2008) and William Babcock Hazen: The Best Hated Man (2005). He lives in Maryland with his wife and two children. 

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