Partner Abby Adeline Manning, buried together
92 Mt Vernon St, Boston, MA 02108, USA
Whitney Farm, 476 North Rd, Shelburne, NH 03581, Stati Uniti
Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138, Stati Uniti
Anne Whitney (September 2, 1821 – January 23, 1915) was an American sculptor and poet. She made full-length and bust sculptures of prominent political and historical figures, and her works are in major museums in the United States. She received prestigious commissions for monuments. Two statues of Samuel Adams were made by Whitney and are located in Washington, D.C.'s National Statuary Hall Collection and in front of Faneuil Hall in Boston. She also created two monuments to Leif Erikson.
She made works that explored her liberal views regarding abolition, women's rights, and other socials issues. Many prominent and historical men and women are depicted in her sculptures, like Harriet Beecher Stowe. She portrayed women who lived ground-breaking lives as suffragists, professional artists, and non-traditional positions for women at the time, like noted economist and Wellesley College president Alice Freeman Palmer. Throughout her adult life, she lived an unconventional, independent life and had a lifelong relationship with fellow artist, Abby Adeline Manning, with whom she lived and traveled to Europe.
Anne Whitney was born in Watertown, Massachusetts on September 2, 1821. She was the youngest child of Nathaniel Ruggles Whitney, Jr.—a justice of the peace— and Sally, or Sarah, Stone Whitney, both of whom were descendants of Watertown settlers of 1635. She had a sister and five brothers. The family moved to East Cambridge by the time that Whitney was 12 years old and returned to Watertown in 1850.
Her family were Unitarians and abolitionists. They fought for women's and education rights, as well as abolition of slavery.
Except the 1834–1835 school year that she attended at a private school run by Mrs. Samuel Little in Bucksport, Maine, she received her education from private tutors. Her year at private school allowed her to teach. Whitney enjoyed writing poetry and had an interest in sculpture.
Throughout her adulthood, she was an advocate for forest conservation, women's rights, abolition of slavery, and equal educational opportunities for African-Americans. Whitney was an individualist, who lived independently and cut her hair short, which annoyed her Victorian neighbors. She wrote of her independent nature in one of her poems, "You are welcome, world, to criticize, carp and croak yourself hoarse if you will." She was active in political, literary and artistic circles and supported liberal activists, sculptors and other artists, entertaining people like Harriet Hosmer and Edmonia Lewis and her home. One of her friends and supporters was writer Annie Adams Fields, who found her to be a "noble, simple, strong living woman.
92 Mt. Vernon Street
She purchased a house in Boston at 92 Mt. Vernon Street in 1876 and established a studio on its top floor. The house, located in Beacon Hill is on the Boston Women's Heritage Trail. Six years later she purchased a farm in Shelburne, New Hampshire with views overlooking Mount Washington, Mount Adams, and Mount Madison. She lived at her home on Mt. Vernon Street until October 1893 when she moved to Beacon Street at the Charlesgate Hotel, near her statue of Leif Erikson on Commonwealth Avenue. She lived with and shared her life with Abby Adeline Manning (1836–1906), who devoted her life to Whitney. Whitney and Manning lived abroad in the 1860s and 1870s, in Rome, Florence, and Paris.
In the spring of 1867, Anne Whitney and Abby Manning were in Rome. They took an apartment and an hillside studio not far from Edmonia Lewis' rooms on the Via Gregoriana. Lewis promptly invited them to visit her in the studio once graced by Harriet Hosmer, John Gibson, and, most notable, Antonio Canova.
Whitney and Manning had what was called a "Boston marriage", a term for a long-term relationship between upper-class, educated women, which was generally accepted within the community. Fields said of the relationship, "the two women complement and repose each other."
Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA
Whitney died on January 23, 1915 in Boston, Massachusetts of cancer and was buried in Cambridge at Mount Auburn Cemetery alongside Abby Adeline Manning.
Whitney is also connected with Rosa Bonheur.
United States Capitol, Washington, DC
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