Edmonia Lewis (1845-1909) was an African American and Native American sculptor that would find success despite discrimination for her race and gender. She was an art student at Oberlin College and would excel in her courses but would later drop out after being accused of theft and poisoning two classmates; this led to a mob beating her up severely, only to have her acquitted of any wrong doing at trial. She would later move to Boston to further her education in sculpting. Her big break would come in 1864 with a bust she made of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw being widely celebrated and selling many copies; this would supply her with enough money to move to Rome. She would spend most of her adult career in Italy and became a highly paid and internationally respected sculptor. Two of her most notable works are: Forever Free and The Death of Cleopatra.

(via sourcedumal)