HARRIET GOODHUE HOSMER, 1830-1908

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The Crow family became prominent in the history of St. Louis, Missouri, when the Honorable Wayman Crow (1808-1885) brought his family there from Kentucky in 1835. Civic leader, state senator, and business tycoon, Wayman Crow was the founder of Washington University and later of its art museum. Wayman Crow married Isabella B. Conn (1814-1892); among their children were Cornelia (Crow) Carr, Emma (Crow) Carr, Mary (Crow) Emmons, and Wayman Crow, Jr.

In the years 1847-1851 Cornelia Crow (1833-1922) attended Elizabeth Sedgwick's seminary in Lenox, Massachusetts. Here she met and befriended Harriet Goodhue Hosmer, who was later to become one of America's most distinguished woman sculptors. Wayman Crow became Harriet Goodhue Hosmer's first benefactor and life-long patron, managing her financial matters until his death.

Cornelia (Crow) Carr married anthropologist Lucien Carr (1829-1915) and moved with him to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Lucien Carr was assistant curator of Harvard University's Peabody Museum. They had five children: Harriet Hosmer Carr (1855-1880), Wayman Crow Carr (1856-1857), Alfred William Carr (1858-1918), Lucien Carr, Jr. (1862-1914), and Isabella Wayman Carr (1868-1928).

In 1912, four years after Harriet Goodhue Hosmer's death, Cornelia (Crow) Carr published a biography of the sculptor entitled, Harriet Hosmer, Letters and Memories .

From the guide to the Additional papers, 1848-1915, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Harriet Goodhue Hosmer (October 9, 1830-February 21, 1908), was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, the daughter of Dr. Hiram Hosmer and Sarah (Grant) Hosmer. Her mother, brothers, and sister died when she was a young child and she was raised by her father, who encouraged her in out-of-door activities. She thus grew up with a strong love for the outdoors, and perhaps for this reason was always in good health.

At sixteen, HGH was sent to the home-school of Mrs. Charles Sedgwick of Lenox, where she was allowed the freedom to continue her interest in nature and where she met such literary and artistic figures as Fanny Kemble, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson. In this atmosphere her interest in art, and particularly in sculpture, developed. She also met Wayman Crow (WC), father of her best friend Cornelia Crow, who became her first benefactor and life-long patron.

In 1850, through the influence of WC, HGH went to St. Louis, Missouri, to study anatomy under the direction of Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell, head of the medical school of the state university. At the end of the semester, she returned to Boston and that summer produced her first sculpture, Hesper, in her home studio in Watertown. In the fall of 1852, encouraged by the actress, Charlotte Cushman, with whom she was to live, HGH went to Rome. The English sculptor, John Gibson, took her on as a pupil; she studied with him until she established a studio of her own six years later.

Throughout her career HGH took part in the social life of the English and American colony in Rome and Florence. Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, Sir Frederick Leighton, Lady Alwyne Compton, Lady Marianne Alford, Adelaide (Kemble) Sartoris and the William Story family were among her special friends. The many visitors to her studio included royalty from many countries in Europe. She spent the summers with members of the English aristocracy at their homes in England.

Hesper, 1852 The Clasped Hands of Mr. and Mrs. Browning, 1853 Daphne, 1854 Medusa, 1854 Oenone, 1855 Puck, 1856 Beatrice Cenci, 1856-1857 Falconnet monument, 1858 Fountain of Hylas and the Water Nymphs, 1858 Zenobia, 1861 Fountain of the Sirens, 1861 Sleeping Faun, 1865 Waking Faun, 1866 Will-o'-the-Wisp, 1866 Bust of Wayman Crow, 1868 Queen of Naples, 1868 Fountain of the Mermaid's Cradle, 1892 Triton, 1892 Queen Isabella, 1894 The Staghound, n.d. African Sibyl, partially completed, n.d.

HGH produced little sculpture after 1885, but spent most of her time visiting friends in England and America, giving an occasional lecture. She lived the last years of her life in Watertown, Massachusetts, devoting virtually all her time and energy to attempts to create a perpetual motion machine. This work reflected a life-long interest in mechanical devices and other inventions; she had tried to perfect a technique for making marble out of limestone. HGH died in 1908.

Harriet Hosmer, Letters and Memories (HH,LM), edited by Cornelia Crow Carr (CCC), was published in 1912. For other biographical information, see the article in Notable American Women (Cambridge, Mass., 1971), which includes a list of additional sources. See also Hosmeriana: A Guide to Works by and about Harriet G. Hosmer, by Joseph L. Curran, 1975 (available at the Schlesinger Library, 730/H32c). Other HGH papers are listed in Women's History Sources (New York and London, 1979).

From the guide to the Papers, 1834-1959, (Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Papers, 1834-1959 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
creatorOf Additional papers, 1848-1915 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Agassiz, Elizabeth (Cary), 1822-1907 person
associatedWith Agnes M. Manning person
associatedWith Alford, Lady Marianne Margaret (Compton), 1817-1888 person
associatedWith Andersen, Hans Christian, 1805-1875 person
associatedWith Anthony, Susan Brownell, 1820-1906 person
associatedWith Ashburton, Lady Louisa (Stewart-Mackenzie), 1827-1903 person
associatedWith Benton, Thomas Hart, 1782-1858 person
correspondedWith Bessie Rackermann person
correspondedWith Bessie Sedgwick person
associatedWith Blackwell, Elizabeth, 1821-1910 person
correspondedWith Boxall, William person
associatedWith Browning, Elizabeth (Barrett), 1806-1861 person
associatedWith Browning, Robert, 1812-1889 person
associatedWith Carlyle, Thomas, 1795-1881 person
associatedWith Carr, Cornelia (Crow), 1833-1922 person
associatedWith Catherine Maria Sedgwick person
correspondedWith Charlotte Wise person
associatedWith Cheney, Ednah Dow (Littlehale), 1824-1904 person
associatedWith Child, Lydia Maria (Francis), 1802-1880 person
associatedWith Clay, Henry, 1777-1852 person
associatedWith Compton, Florence Caroline (Anderson) (Lady Alwyne) person
associatedWith Crow, Wayman, 1808-1885 person
associatedWith Cushman, Charlotte, 1816-1876 person
associatedWith Dryden, Alice person
correspondedWith Dundas, Anne person
correspondedWith E. B. Sedgwick person
associatedWith Eliza Allen Starr person
correspondedWith Elizabeth Barrett person
associatedWith Elizabeth Robins person
associatedWith Elliott, Maud (Howe), 1854-1948 person
associatedWith Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882 person
associatedWith Emmons, Mary (Crow) person
correspondedWith E. Sidney Everett person
associatedWith Everett, Edward, 1794-1865 person
associatedWith Fields, Annie (Adams), 1834-1915 person
correspondedWith Flori Freeman person
correspondedWith F. Marshall Field person
associatedWith Fremont, Jessie (Benton), 1824-1902 person
associatedWith Gibson, John, 1790-1866 person
associatedWith Gladstone, William Ewart, 1809-1898 person
correspondedWith Hare, Augustus person
correspondedWith Harriet Hosmer Carr person
associatedWith Harriet Hosmer, Letters and Memories person
associatedWith Harrison, Constance Cary, 1843-1920 person
associatedWith Helen Leah Reed person
associatedWith Henry Giles person
correspondedWith Hiram Hosmer person
associatedWith Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894 person
associatedWith Hooker, Isabella (Beecher), 1822-1907 person
correspondedWith Hosmer, Hiram person
associatedWith Howe, Julia (Ward), 1819-1910 person
correspondedWith Howitt, Mary person
associatedWith Hoxie, Vinnie (Ream), 1847-1914 person
correspondedWith Hutton, Lawrence person
associatedWith Irwin, Agnes, 1841-1914 person
correspondedWith Jameson, Anna person
associatedWith Julian Mead person
associatedWith Kemble, Frances Anne (Fanny), 1809-1893 person
associatedWith Kingsley, Rose person
associatedWith Layard, Lady Enid person
associatedWith Layard, Sir Austen Henry, 1817-1894 person
associatedWith Leighton, Sir Frederick, 1830-1896 person
associatedWith Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882 person
associatedWith Lowell, James Russell, 1819-1891 person
associatedWith Margaret Foley. person
correspondedWith Mary B. Kittredge person
correspondedWith Mary Howitt person
associatedWith Mitchell, Maria, 1818-1889 person
associatedWith Mollie (Crow) Cushman person
associatedWith Moulton, Louise (Chandler), 1835-1908 person
correspondedWith Mount Auburn Cemetery corporateBody
associatedWith Naples, Queen of (Maria Sophia Amelia), 1841-1925 person
associatedWith Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer, 1804-1894 person
associatedWith Pendleton, Charlotte person
associatedWith Peruzzi, Edith W (Story) person
associatedWith Queen Isabella Association corporateBody
associatedWith Robins, Elizabeth, 1862-1952 person
associatedWith Rose Kingsley person
correspondedWith Rothschild, Adolphe person
correspondedWith Royal Bronze Foundry corporateBody
associatedWith Sanborn, Kate, 1839-1917 person
correspondedWith Sarah W. Hosmer person
associatedWith Sartoris, Adelaide (Kemble), 1814-1879 person
associatedWith Sedgwick, Bessie person
associatedWith Sedgwick, Catherine Maria, 1789-1867 person
associatedWith Sedgwick, Charles person
associatedWith Sedgwick family family
associatedWith Sedgwick, Louise person
associatedWith Sedgwick, Susan person
associatedWith Somerville, Mary, 1780-1872 person
associatedWith Spencer, Ellen person
associatedWith Story, Maud Waldo person
associatedWith Story, William Wetmore, 1819-1895 person
associatedWith Stowe, Harriet Elizabeth (Beecher), 1811-1896 person
associatedWith Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874 person
correspondedWith The Metropolitan Museum of Art corporateBody
correspondedWith Thomas Curtis Clarke person
associatedWith Thomas Hart Benton person
associatedWith Ticknor, Anna Eliot person
associatedWith Ticknor family family
associatedWith Whiting, Lilian, 1859-1942 person
associatedWith Whitney, Anne, 1821-1915 person
associatedWith William Dwight Sedgwick person
correspondedWith Yeatman, James person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Europe
United Kingdom
Subject
Americans in Italy
Art patronage
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1830

Death 1908

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