Monthly Archives: January 2011





Marilyn Richardson, Principal

Art + History Consultants

Watertown, MA


Just Sayin’ . . .


I have an essay in this book about Edmonia Lewis, Robert Gould Shaw, Saint-Gaudens’ memorial, and Edward Bannister.

Benjamin Zander



A delightful and ultimately very moving talk, performance and interaction with his audience.

We went to hear him give a pre-performance talk before conducting Mahler at Sanders Theater at Harvard a few weeks ago. I asked him to sign one of his books and he was equally engaging.










“For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.”
— G.K. Chesterton, The Rolling English Road, 1914
9 January 2011





Cultural historian Marilyn Richardson has solved one of the persistent mysteries of American art history: where and when did the sculptor Edmonia Lewis die? The answer is, London, England, on 17 September 1907. According to British records, Lewis, whose full name was Mary Edmonia Lewis, had been living in the Hammersmith area of London and died in the Hammersmith Borough Infirmary. She left a modest financial estate.

Beginning with publications from the late 19th-century, the date of her death has been given as anywhere between 1895 and 1911 with no supporting primary evidence. Although she was a prolific and successful artist, Edmonia Lewis maintained an aura of mystery throughout her career with varying stories about her origins as the daughter of a woman of Ojibway descent and a black father from the West Indies. Lewis began her career in Boston, Massachusetts, and moved to Rome, Italy, in 1866. From there she made frequent trips back to the United States to exhibit and sell her work.

Richardson has published widely on Lewis and has written catalogue essays on her work for Sotheby’s and other auction houses. Recent sales of her sculpture from the 1860s have fetched record prices of $250,000 and above.

Now that Edmonia Lewis’s death is documented, Richardson says, the search is still on for official birth records to confirm Lewis’s claim that she was born in upstate New York. Proof of her birthplace and date have so far eluded determined scholars and researchers.


Clarence Thomas “Exposed”?

This makes my day!

Ex-Girlfriend Of Justice Thomas Signs Deal For “Sexually Driven Memoir” |


My Response:

‎        “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice”

Lying s.o.b. clawed his vicious way to the Supreme Court pandering to the right wing by promoting some of the most vile stereotypes and innuendo about black women. I’d say there are dots to be connected to total lack of respect for both Obamas that is expressed and tolerated in some quarters.

Yes, Hill has sensibly moved on and built a solid career and reputation. But if a church-going, Yale Law School graduate, civil rights attorney testifying under oath could be famously written about with impunity (for the writer) and little rebuttal as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty,” how many more straws does it take to break the back of the average, working class black woman?

Answer: There is not enough straw in the universe to do that, but some do stumble, and many of us, from all walks of life, felt her ordeal resonate in our bones.

Clarence T’s sex life is certainly not anything I want to know more about. However, if there is anything in that or other realms that will shame, embarrass, discomfort or discredit him, bring it on!

And not just because of Hill. As I’ve said, any black man who would use the term “high-tech lynching” to further his political ambitions is beneath contempt. And of course, look at his record on the court.