Anne Whitney (1821 – 1915)

Born to East Cambridge Peace Justice Nathaniel Whitney and his wife Sarah Stone, Anne Whitney was a sculptor, poet, and suffragette. She grew up in Watertown, and was educated by private tutors throughout her childhood. She also traveled to Europe several times to study in Rome, Paris, and Munich. When Whitney was 25, she opened a school in Salem which she operated for two years. Towards the middle of her life, Whitney’s passion turned from poetry to sculpture. Under the tutelage of painter William Rimmer, Whitney blossomed as an artist. She would eventually go on to carve busts of Samuel Adams, John Keats, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lucy Stone, William Lloyd Garrison, and many other highly influential figures.

One of Whitney’s defining moments would occur in 1875 when her work was announced the winner of a competition commissioned for a statue of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner. When it was discovered that a woman had produced the winning model, her victory was revoked. The statue now stands proudly in Harvard Square in the very heart of Cambridge.