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Edmonia Lewis, African American and Native American Sculptor

Page history last edited by sharon edwards 1 month, 2 weeks ago


Edmonia Lewis, 1870s from the National Portrait Gallery 

 United States History Cross-Links






BEGIN here: 

  • This image depicts her working on her famous piece “Death of Cleopatra”. 

Edmonia Lewis Google Doodle explains in kid friendly language the work and importance of this artist.


Google Arts and Culture Edmonia Lewis


 Biography from Smithsonian American Art Museum


  • This biography resources reiterates what was said in the video, but goes into more detail regarding

    Lewis’ life, family, education, and sculptures.


  • Reviewing this biography after viewing the short video would allow students to rehearse information about Lewis, while also making new connections and gaining more insight into the life of Lewis.


      Finding Cleopatra 

 Sidedoor, Smithsonian PodcastLewis biographer Kirsten Buick speaks with Sidedoor host Lizzie Peabody for the 2019 episode. (26 min.



Edmonia Lewis Commemorative Forever Stamp -- U.S. Postal Service


Edmonia Lewis from PBS

This video gives a quick overview about Edmonia Lewis and would act as background information/ a “first glance” at who Lewis was. Since the video is not long (only 1 minute), students’ attention is more likely to be sustained and background 


The Death of Cleopatra

The Death of Cleopatra (1876) from Smithsonian Art Museum


  • This resource from the Smithsonian Museum focusing on “The Death of Cleopatra” depicts the intricacy of Lewis’ work

           and offers her own perspective of her story.  


"The Death of Cleopatra" by Reginald Arthur is another influential painting inspired by Edmonia Lewis.


File:The Death of Cleopatra arthur.jpg



Forever Free by Edmonia Lewis (1867) from Howard University Art Gallery


Edmonia Lewis Sculptures


 Through this website, students can click on pictures of Lewis’ sculptures, zoom in on them, view different perspectives of the sculpture (left and right perspective pictures are provided) and analyze logistics of the sculptures (locations, dates and descriptions are provided).




The Unlikely Success of Edmonia Lewis, a Black Sculptor in the 19th Century


  • This text tells the story of one of Lewis’ most famous sculptures, Forever Free, giving students an opportunity to read about Lewis in a way that may be more entertaining and memorable.


  • Since the information in this text is even more detailed than the biography, this text could be presented to students after having exposure to both the video the biography. In doing so, students would be able to continuously make connections between sources and gradually build their knowledge about Lewis (logical-mathematical component).





Material submitted by Georgia MacDonald and Olivia Horn (March 2020)

New resources added by Sharon Edwards (March 2024).






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