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Mapping the “White, Marmorean Flock”: Anne Whitney Abroad, 1867–1868
by Jacqueline Marie Musacchio

with Jenifer Bartle and David McClure, assisted by Kalyani Bhatt

Introduction     |     Mapping the “White, Marmorean Flock”     |     
Anne Whitney Abroad, 1867–1868     |     Primary Sources     |     Project Narrative

NOTE: Links throughout the article and endnotes, indicated by the envelope icon envelope-icon and globe icon globe-icon, launch exhibits that trace Anne Whitney's journeys with maps, timelines, letter excerpts, and images.

In the years after the Civil War a growing number of American citizens traveled to Europe. Many were aspiring artists, seeking direct contact with original works of art that they could not get at home. Although objects from ancient and Renaissance cultures were increasingly praised and prized, few were available in the United States in the nineteenth century. Public institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston were not established until the 1870s, and though their early collections contained many plaster casts and painted copies of famous works of art, the celebrated originals remained in Europe. It was widely believed that Italy was the best place to study art; birthplace of both the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, it provided immediate access to the art and architecture nineteenth-century Americans most wanted to see.

As art historians we tend to prioritize this contact with ancient and Renaissance art, assuming it was the most important motivation for an artist’s journey to Italy. However, while it may have inspired an artist to travel, once he or she arrived in Europe other aspects of life abroad enriched an already valuable experience. For example, Italy boasted a ready population of models willing to pose clothed or nude, as well as trained artisans who could help with materials and production. However, beyond these practical advantages, life abroad was filled with new experiences—some unique and others quotidian—that encompassed much more than art and architecture. Artists observed the natural world, interacted with other travelers and (in a more limited manner) the native population, witnessed Catholic ceremonies, and puzzled over unfamiliar food and drink. This immersion in a different and quite alien culture often had as much if not more of an impact on travelers as the immediate contact with ancient and Renaissance art.

We also tend to deemphasize the fact that artists had widely divergent experiences depending on where they went and for how long, as well as on their personalities, backgrounds, and early training. Gender also played a role. On the most basic level, male and female artists experienced life abroad differently. Although travel gave women many of the same benefits as men in terms of contact with original works of art, it also freed them of the constraints of home, where in addition to the restrictive norms of polite society, access to art education and professional opportunities was limited.

Unfortunately, it is usually impossible to reconstruct an artist’s life abroad in sufficient detail to truly understand what he or she experienced. In the case of the sculptor Anne Whitney (1821–1915), however, her extensive correspondence, most of which is preserved in the Wellesley College archives, provides an incredibly vivid first-hand account of her travels with her companion, the painter Addy Manning. Taking advantage of this documentation, my article and the associated maps and timeline illustrate the richness and variety of one woman’s life abroad, providing a chronological, close-up view of Whitney’s first sixteen months of travel, from March 1867 to July 1868. During this time she embarked on two major journeys: the first took her from her home in Massachusetts across the Atlantic to Le Havre and through France and Switzerland to Romeglobe-icon, and the second brought her from Rome to Switzerland for the summer and back again for the fall, winter, and springglobe-icon. These sixteen months end just as she prepares to cross the Alps for a second summer. In this period Whitney wrote and received some 100 letters, approximately a quarter of the 400 that document her five years abroad, and one-tenth of the 4,000 from her lifetime. Her letters describe the thousands of miles she and Manning traveled, the three countries they visited, the wide range of conveyances they employed, the multiple social events they attended, the dozens of historical sites and museums they admired, and, of course, the creation of several of their own works of art. Life abroad sometimes shocked but always fascinated, and this visceral reaction is evident in the letters. Whitney’s correspondence serves as a framework for a broad cultural examination; extended quotations in the linked timeline, corresponding to the related locations on the maps, demonstrate Whitney’s responses to these diverse experiences in her own words.

Fig. 1, Anonymous (American), Arch of Titus, ca. 1900. Stereograph card. Private collection.

The 1860s and 1870s were a tumultuous time in Italian history. This was the culmination of the period known as the Risorgimento; throughout much of the nineteenth century the debate over Italian unification had pitted the papacy against the secular government and created a rift in the population. This resulted in dramatic political, economic, and social upheavals, particularly in Florence, which became the capital of Italy from 1865 to 1871, and in Rome, the seat of the papacy. Despite this unrest, and despite suspicions about Catholicism among the largely Protestant population of the United States, Florence and Rome were the two most important destinations on the Italian peninsula for American artists. The presence and activities of these artists made an impression on both the Anglo-American community abroad and on an increasingly interested audience at home, which read about them in newspapers, periodicals, guidebooks, and letters from traveling friends and family members. In fact, the image of the artist abroad, working in front of famous monuments, was a familiar trope on stereograph cards well into the twentieth century (fig. 1).

But the women in this group of expatriate artists generated the keenest interest, not least because they had to negotiate a delicate path in their public and private lives to maintain respectability.[1] Wealthy travelers who visited their studios abroad to examine and purchase art also scrutinized their behavior, and a wide variety of writers reported on their activities with both curiosity and a certain degree of voyeurism. But the experience of living abroad and studying original art for any length of time was worth the risks it entailed, and female artists with the opportunity and means to travel to Europe did so.

In journalists’ accounts these women were often grouped together. In 1866 the Englishman Henry Wreford, a freelance correspondent in Italy, described the female artists in Rome collectively as “a fair constellation . . . of twelve stars of greater or lesser magnitude, who shed their soft and humanising influence on a profession which has done so much for the refinement and civilization of man.”[2] Some of Wreford’s twelve stars, incidentally all American sculptors, are still recognizable names even today: Margaret Foley, Florence Freeman, Harriet Hosmer, Edmonia Lewis, and Emma Stebbins. Less known now are the American painter sisters Mary Elizabeth and Abigail Osgood Williams,[3] the Italian sculptor Horatia Augusta Latilla Freeman and her relative, the painter Adah Caroline Latilla,[4] Irish painter and sculptor Jane Morgan,[5] and English sculptor Isabel Cholmelay.[6] It is not entirely clear which of these women produced art of “greater magnitude” in Wreford’s mind; his discussion is rather general overall. Indeed, in his article and in others of the period, even the better-known women tend to earn more comments about their personalities, appearances, or behaviors than about their art.[7] Their presence in Europe might be cited alongside society items, such as an account of Prince Albert’s purchase of diamonds in Paris, or they might be simply listed with only cursory mention of their work.[8] As different as these women and their works of art were from one another in regard to such basic issues as background, age, materials, style, and iconography, contemporaries seemed to understand them best as indistinguishable members of an artificially constructed group.

This was true even in more specialized texts. Henry T. Tuckerman, an American writer who lived in Italy, included a brief section on American female sculptors in Rome in his Book of the Artists (1867). In less than five pages, in a volume of more than 600 pages total, he discussed several members of Wreford’s constellation, including Foley, Freeman,[9] Hosmer, Lewis, and Stebbins. He briefly mentioned Sarah Fisher Clampitt Ames, Louisa Lander, Vinnie Ream, and Anne Whitney, though by that date Lander and Ames had returned to the United States and Ream had not yet arrived in Rome. Tuckerman’s description was hardly complementary; he noted that public appreciation of their art seemed to derive from “national deference to and sympathy with the sex” and from a lack of understanding about art in general.[10] Yet even his dismissive analysis shows awareness of and interest in these women and their activities.

The female artist abroad also became a popular theme in literature. Louisa May Alcott’s painter sister May, who later traveled to Europe, inspired the character of Amy in Little Women (1868). Certainly Amy’s statement that she wanted to “go to Rome, and do fine pictures, and be the best artist in the whole world” would have echoed May’s own youthful hopes.[11] But the best-known, albeit fictionalized, account of female artists in Italy was Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Marble Faun (1860), a novel about the Rome Hawthorne knew from his own sojourn in the late 1850s. Hawthorne’s three main characters were American artists—the male sculptor Kenyon and female painters Hilda and Miriam—and the plot revolved around the women’s circumvention of social norms and integration (or lack thereof) into Roman culture. Informed readers attempted to identify these fictional artists with their possible real-life counterparts, one of whom may have been Hawthorne’s wife, the painter Sophia Peabody.[12]

Fig. 2, Anonymous (Italian), Artist in Her Studio, late nineteenth century. Photograph inserted into a copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Marble Faun (Leipzig: Tauchnitz, 1860). Private collection.

Hawthorne’s vivid descriptions of Roman sites and works of art made the novel an alternative guidebook, and necessary reading for all travelers or would-be travelers. It was republished in multiple editions over the years, including an especially popular version by Tauchnitz publishers in Leipzig. Each Tauchnitz volume, which was readily available from English-language booksellers in Italy, came with blank pages for the insertion of photographs.[13] Some travelers bought prepared sets of photographs from venders like Fratelli Alinari or Giorgio Sommer, which were keyed to passages in the novel.[14] A photograph of the Tarpeian Rock, for example, often accompanied the description of the artists’ visit to the precipice where Miriam’s model fell to his death, while a photograph of the crypt of Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, with its carefully posed skeletons and bone ornaments, was inserted alongside the passage describing the funeral of the model in that church. Others picked the photographs they most wanted from a wider stock, some of which were deliberately staged to illustrate specific passages. A photograph of a well-dressed painter at her easel, for example, is occasionally inserted in chapter 5, “Miriam’s Studio” (fig. 2). In this image, the floor is covered with a carpet, the furniture is draped with textiles and animal skins, and the artist is surrounded by paintings, including portraits, a cupid, and—somewhat improbably—an almost life-size female nude. The photograph matched the popular imagination of the female artist abroad, but there was no real link to the fictional Miriam as described by Hawthorne, and on closer examination the artificial backdrop locates the scene in a photographer’s studio. This simulacrum was adequate; absolute fidelity was not required to enjoy these volumes, which were fitted with decorative endpapers and specially bound to make unique souvenirs of a journey abroad.

Hawthorne’s Marble Faun presented a romanticized view of the pursuit of artistic training in Italy, and the popularity of the novel, as well as many other written accounts, allowed Americans to claim an expertise in this topic, giving them the confidence to make judgments—both artistic and personal—about female artists abroad. Although Hilda’s freedom and Miriam’s morality were problematic, to Hawthorne and many of his readers female painters more or less followed societal norms; after all, watercolor and china painting were traditional feminine techniques and often part of a woman’s domestic education, so oil painting, though unusual, was not entirely inappropriate. Indeed, Hilda’s and Miriam’s personal behaviors generated more curiosity (and condemnation) than their artistic efforts. This was also true for many of the female painters who appeared in the novels of Henry James.[15] Roderick Hudson (1875) includes the fictional flower painter Augusta Blanchard, described as a young, pretty woman living independently, similar to Hawthorne’s Hilda as well as actual American painters abroad. James was also familiar with female copyists, who painted in public galleries at some risk to their reputations; in The American (1876) he implied that the copyist Noémie Nioche painting in the Louvre was as sexually available as she was visually present, echoing widely-held beliefs about the connections between women who transgressed social strictures and prostitution.[16]

Female sculptors were usually viewed even more negatively than female painters, both in literature and in real life. With their difficult and dirty materials and the exertion required to manipulate them, they inhabited an essentially masculine realm and this made many of their contemporaries uneasy. James demonstrates this attitude in his two-volume biography of sculptor and long-time resident of Rome William Wetmore Story. The biography was published in 1903, some eight years after Story’s death, when the neoclassical style practiced by Story and many of his contemporaries was quickly falling out of fashion. Despite the authority implied by this lengthy biography, James’s description of Story and other sculptors who worked in Italy in the last half of the nineteenth century was strikingly negative. He claimed that they represented “old manners, old fashions, old standards, old provincialisms.”[17] The women in this category received particular criticism. After quoting the poet James Russell Lowell, who described the women living in Rome in the circle of the actress Charlotte Cushman as a “harem (scarem) . . . [of] emancipated females who dwell there in heavenly unity,”[18] James infamously—and dismissively—called them a “strange sisterhood of American ‘lady sculptors’ who at one time settled upon the seven hills in a white, marmorean flock.”[19] The only woman James identified by name was Harriet Hosmer, although informed readers would have recognized references to Edmonia Lewis by skin color and Vinnie Ream by hair style. James’s gender bias was thorough; he granted few moral virtues or artistic accomplishments to the female sculptors he grouped so disparagingly.[20]

With the benefit of hindsight we realize that these sculptors and their painter sisters were far more interesting and impressive than their male contemporaries suggested. They were among the earliest American women to live in, and attempt to understand, a foreign culture and its history, and they recognized the precarious position this granted them in the eyes of family, friends, and strangers. They were certainly not as cohesive as James and others implied; though they knew each other, and often lived and worked in close proximity, there were inevitable alliances and divisions among them resulting in friendships and tensions that are difficult to reconstruct from our historical distance. If we look at these women as individuals with unique experiences encompassing all aspects of life abroad, rather than as members of a homogeneous “flock” focused solely on art, we gain a richer understanding of women’s lives as well as a more detailed context for the art created and collected at this time.

One of the few artists for whom we can undertake such an examination is Anne Whitney. Whitney was born in 1821 in Watertown, Massachusetts, the youngest of seven children in a progressive Unitarian family.[21] In 1834, her parents sent her to Mrs. Samuel Little’s Select School for Young Ladies in Bucksport, Maine, for a year of formal education; in early 1846 she spent several months studying French in New York. Although there were a small number of institutions at the time that provided college education for women, including Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which began to admit students in 1837, Whitney did not pursue further formal education. Yet her training was thorough enough to enable her to run a small school in Salem from 1847 to 1848.

Whitney and her family were engaged in the rich artistic, musical, and literary life of the Boston area; they were also politically active and dedicated to abolition and women’s suffrage.[22] Her support of the suffrage movement, and her friendship with many of the women who were driving forces behind it, may explain her determination to take alternative paths in her own life. Rather than marrying and raising children (the average age of marriage was about 23 for women at the time[23]) she focused on developing her creative abilities. She wrote poetry in the romantic tradition of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley, and often quoted their verses, along with those of other poets, in her correspondence.[24] Her first and only book of poems was published in 1859, and it earned limited though lasting critical acclaim; a second edition, published in 1906, included only a few changes.

Shortly before her book was published, Whitney made the unconventional decision to become a sculptor. She received advice from Thomas Ball, Henry Kirke Brown, Erastus Dow Palmer, and William Rimmer in these early years, learning from each one and constantly improving her abilities. She also studied anatomy in a Brooklyn hospital. There is little evidence of her first efforts beyond occasional comments in her correspondence and contemporary biographies. By 1859 she exhibited marble busts of her parents (now lost) at the Boston Art Club, and in 1860 she exhibited a bust of the toddler Laura Brown (Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC) at the National Academy of Design in New York.[25] That same year she went to Philadelphia for several months to attend lectures at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the only institution then offering formal instruction to women, and to draw from its cast collection with a friend from Salem, the painter Fidelia Bridges.[26]

The beginning of Whitney’s sculpture career coincided with the beginning of her most important relationship. While in Brooklyn she boarded at the home of her brother’s friend Richard Manning and met Manning’s daughter, the aspiring painter Adeline or Addy (1836–1906). They soon formed the kind of bond that became known as a Boston marriage, a term especially popular in New England to describe two women in a stable, usually cohabiting relationship in which they were financially and emotionally dependent on each other, rather than on men. The term came into use in the late nineteenth century following the publication of Henry James’s novel The Bostonians (1885), where the relationship between Olive and Verena became the standard representation of one of these long-term unions. Whether these relationships—and there were a significant number in Whitney’s intellectual and cultural circles—were sexual or not is unclear, and not necessarily relevant.[27] Of greater importance was the freedom they gave women to live the lives they wanted, outside of masculine control.

Those who knew Whitney and Manning would have recognized their bond as a Boston marriage. They were together from 1859 until Manning’s death in 1906. The women established a home together from 1876, living together abroad and visiting each other in their respective family homes before this, and were accepted as a couple by their family and friends. Their devotion to each other is obvious from surviving documentation. In one instance, Whitney’s older sister Sarah addressed the women, as she put it, “jointly because you are one.”[28] But many letters, which no doubt contained intimate details about their lives together, were certainly destroyed.[29] Shortly before Whitney’s death at age 93, Manning’s sister, Sarah Sage, made arrangements for Whitney to be interred in the Manning plot in Cambridge’s Mount Auburn cemetery. Sage’s attorney informed cemetery officials that “it has always been [Whitney’s] intention and the intention of the [Manning] family that she should be buried in the Manning lot in a grave adjoining that of her friend, Miss Addie Manning.”[30] The site is marked with a simple slab bearing the names and dates of both women, an unusual instance of same-sex joint burial for this period and lasting acknowledgement of their relationship.[31]

Whitney and Manning traveled, lived, and worked in Europe from 1867 to 1871 and again from 1875 to 1876. During these years Whitney tried to write to her family every few days; after two weeks, she gathered the accumulated pages and mailed them to her loved ones, and they did the same to her. The irregular postal system, coordinated by the steamship companies and bankers, meant that two or more weeks elapsed before the envelopes with their much anticipated contents made their passage across land and sea. Most of Whitney’s letters were sent to her sister Sarah, who cared for their parents during Whitney’s absence, but Whitney addressed them more broadly, and they were read aloud and shared with relations and friends. Whether because of her poetic inclination, her interest in the world around her, or, more likely, a combination of the two, these letters are richly detailed documents of a woman’s life abroad. They reflect the successes and failures of her work, and relate her visits to monuments, museums, and exhibitions like the Paris Salons. But they also detail her daily life abroad and her relationships over the years and across the European continent, against the backdrop of events like the unification of Italy and the Franco-Prussian war. Though Whitney sometimes complained about social obligations, she enjoyed meeting new and old friends and keeping in touch with them everywhere she went; the list of her correspondents, ranging from author Louisa May Alcott to physician Marie Zakrzewska, is too long to include here. Her letters therefore provide evidence for a larger narrative about the communities of informed, cultured, and determined women who thrived during this period, both in the United States and abroad.

Whitney’s letters must be understood as a product of her time and place, and are particularly valuable for the way they recreate her life. They often express her frustration as a woman and an artist living in a male world. In one she noted, “1st of all the women suffrage question shd. be settled. I cannot conceive such an outrage possible as the assumption of power to refuse it where the right is claimed. I can’t help wishing I had been a little later in time, in other words that I were not so old; I shd. have, in the nobler order of things, a better start as well as more time for my especial work.”[32] Her progressive beliefs notwithstanding, Whitney shared many of the ethnic and religious prejudices of her white, Protestant contemporaries in New England. She regularly employed negative stereotypes in discussions of Africans, Italians, Irish, Jews, and Catholics, while at the same time she expressed outrage against proponents of slavery and promised to send a rosary to her family’s Irish maid Katy.[33]

Although Whitney wrote these letters to share experiences with the family she left behind, she must have thought about their afterlife. She saved not only the letters from her time abroad but also most of the letters she received throughout her life, including those from her family and Manning as well as from a wide range of more public figures. She also retrieved those she sent to others when the opportunity arose. She may have intended to transform some of the letters into a travel narrative of the sort published in popular periodicals and books at the time.[34] Her early biographer, Elizabeth Rogers Payne, believed that Manning intended to compile a wider selection for publication, as many of their friends did, after the couple had excised private passages.[35] In fact there are many letters with evidence of crossed-out or even cut out text, while others were apparently discarded in their entirety. Given Whitney’s often indiscreet commentary about the people around her, she may have pondered the advisability of this project.[36] At least twice she even advocated destroying letters to avoid any future problems.[37] But in the end the chance to make a mark on posterity must have convinced her otherwise.

Despite constantly improving sea and land conveyances, travel was an arduous experience and one not suited to conventions of female behavior, though many women, both artists and not, did manage it.[38] Italy was a dream destination for Whitney for many years, even before she turned to sculpture. It was a popular setting for the poems of many of the authors she most admired. Keats, Shelley, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote of Italy, lived there, and were buried there. Browning and her husband were particular favorites, and their verses about Italy appealed to both Whitney and her sister Sarah. The women received four copies of Browning’s epic poem Aurora Leigh, the story of a girl growing up in Europe and finding herself through art, as Christmas gifts in 1856, the year it was published.[39]

Fig. 3, Charles Godfrey Leland, Villa Gordiani, 1857–1858. Pen and ink. From Charles Godfrey Leland, Italian and Egyptian sketchbook, folio 19. Charles Godfrey Leland papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Once she decided to become a sculptor, Whitney’s desire to actually travel to Italy became more of a necessity. As early as 1859 she explicitly wrote of her hope to travel. That November her friend, the journalist Charles Godfrey Leland, ended one of his typically effusive letters about life and art with, “May we all meet in—Italy!”[40] Leland had been to Italy from 1857 to 1858, and he and Whitney must have discussed his experience and perhaps that of his brother Henry, who also traveled to Italy and a few years later wrote his witty overview, Americans in Rome (1866). Charles probably shared his travel sketchbook with Whitney, full of drawings and watercolors of scenes and people around Rome and elsewhere, like the one reproduced here of the Villa Gordiani area and the Torre dei Schiavi, a popular subject for both amateur and professional artists (fig. 3). In response to Leland’s letter, Whitney expressed her longing for Italy coupled with her anxiety about travel: “O—Italy!—yes—but just because I love her so intensely do I fear her, + dread that she shd make me worship at second hand + take the vigor out of my blood—If my talent were no longer a question—if I had proved it to myself—this feeling might seem to me base + I cd. yield to my intense longing to find myself in her arms.”[41]

A few months later, when Whitney was studying at the Pennsylvania Academy, Manning closed a long letter by asking rhetorically, “What does Rome mean?”[42] In her undated reply Whitney muses, “Rome? I don’t know what Rome means—the word is derived from Romulus who was suckled by a wolf— + consequently, I guess, means confusion + blood at this particular time! In truth dearest Addy if I can help going to Rome I shall—but if I must there is no resisting one’s fate.”[43] The attraction to Italy and all it had to offer only grew as Whitney became more serious about her art. It must have been intensified with the publication of Hawthorne’s Marble Faun, which she read immediately and apparently disliked; she wrote to Manning, “The Marble Faun wh. I am trying hard to read—is a detestable book—with none of God’s sunshine in it—low in its thoughts on art—low in its morality tho that is its special aim. I want to fling it into next week as the next generation will fling it into last.”[44] Unlike the many readers who made the novel such a bestseller, Whitney apparently could not envision the artist’s experience in Italy through the characters of Hilda and Miriam. But she certainly envied these fictional women and their real-life counterparts in Rome.

In the same letter Whitney complained about the difficulty of studying anatomy in Philadelphia and noted,

I have got so vexed + weary with my search [for appropriate models] that I cd. not but take into favorable consideration a proposition of Miss Hosmer’s that I shd. return with her to Rome + enter Gibson’s studio where she is. It seems to me it is utterly impossible to work in any but a very restricted + small way here. If only the gymnasium wd teach us the beauty + sacredness of the human form! + left nakedness out of its present insolvent condition![45]

Miss Hosmer was of course Harriet Hosmer, who had been in Rome since 1852, working first in the studio of the English sculptor John Gibson and then independently. She was in the United States for several months taking care of her ailing father. Although Hosmer was younger than Whitney, they both grew up in Watertown and knew each other for some time; their shared interest in sculpture originally brought them together, and Hosmer’s celebrity kept Whitney aware of her successes.

It is not surprising that Whitney was enticed by Hosmer’s proposition. The opportunity to travel to Italy with the most successful female sculptor of the time had to be tempting. But Whitney was still not ready to go, and her differences in age and experience from Hosmer may have bothered Whitney more than she was willing to admit. Back in Massachusetts that fall, working in her far from ideal backyard studio, she wrote to Manning in New York:

I am thinking how hard it will be to put so many leagues of sea between me + those here + there who try to make me better by their love—but tis plain that for our peace we must live a little over the borders of that neighbor country where thought + love only constitute presence. Ah but the dear old flesh + blood—the confirmation of the eye + hand! I shall not be ready to go away, if at all, this season so early as Oct. I am not sorry for this + have not bestirred myself to achieve it. It has not at any time, I may say to you—seemed to me wholly desirable to go over with my brother sculpr as she styles me tho’ I like her well.

But Whitney made this decision with some regret: “O for a pair of wings—or an air balloon in wh. names are not registered + a piece of a gone century of art to work in! I think I am silly—am sure I am.”[46]

Whitney’s reasons for delaying her journey are not clear. Since she started sculpture late in life, she may have wanted to study further in the United States first, to maximize her experience abroad. Although her immediate male relations did not go to battle, the upheaval of the Civil War may have made the prospect of leaving her elderly parents for an extended period during that crisis too difficult to bear. The Whitney family was deeply involved in the cause of abolition and worked to assist slaves and former slaves, and these efforts were important to Whitney. And Italy, of course, was itself volatile. With Rome at the center of the unification conflict, her family might have been concerned for her safety, and leaving at that time may have made the separation even more stressful.[47]

But Italy remained a recurring theme in Whitney’s letters. In June 1863 she reported a dream to Manning: “Two nights ago I dreamed I was in Rome—so really! + was going out to see the meetinhouses—I xclaimed— + there is St Peter’s sleeping in the air + I haven’t seen it!”[48] Such a dream must be an indication of how frequently Whitney thought of travel. Conveniently, there were health reasons to justify a trip, too. Whitney’s ears were inflamed in early 1866 and after a visit to the doctor she commented, “Change of climate only performs a radical cure—there cd. not be a better argument, the Dr. says, for going to the south of Europe. This is sure for all catharrel difficulties.”[49] If she was trying to build a case for travel, she had broad support.

During this period Whitney’s sculpture began to achieve critical notice. In 1864 her marble Lady Godiva (Dallas Museum of Art), based on the retelling of the eleventh-century story by Alfred Lord Tennyson, went on display at Childs and Jenks Gallery in Boston. It was followed later that year by her plaster Africa (now lost), a nude female figure that served as a commentary on the Civil War and abolition. In 1865 Africa was exhibited at the National Academy of Design, in part due to the efforts of critic James Jackson Jarves. But it did not receive unanimous praise.[50] In one particularly scathing critique, the reviewer quipped, “Miss Whitney should go to Europe and learn what is required of a sculptor.”[51] As difficult as that was to read, it may have been the push that she needed to seriously consider a trip abroad.

By late 1866 or early 1867, the women decided the time had come. Newton friends Mary C. Shannon and her niece, known as Mary Junior, as well as Fidelia Bridges, planned to join them. On February 17, Whitney wrote to Manning in Brooklyn, reporting that she had paid a round of calls to say goodbye to friends and expressing her concern that Bridges’s finances might make it impossible for her to join their party.[52] Bridges and her siblings were orphaned at a young age and she worked as a nanny to support her family. But in the end Bridges did secure the necessary funds, welcome news since she planned to share an apartment and associated expenses with Whitney and Manning in Rome.[53]

Letters between Whitney and Manning in the weeks leading up to their departure give some sense of the complications such a journey entailed. Everything about the experience was new and uncertain. Whitney was conscious of the fact that this marked an important moment in her life; the week before their departure she wrote to Manning, “will our hearts not quake a little as we put the liquid barrier between us + old habitats + –tudes + sail into the new epoch?”[54] More practical than poetic, Manning reported that she was making “some little wadded caps . . . to wear under our worsted hoods” for the ocean voyage, and asked Whitney to bring lemons, the juice of which was a seasickness cure.[55] Whitney, in a rare attempt at practicality, offered to pick up tooth powder for them both.[56] But warm caps, lemons, and tooth powder were far from the only necessities the journey required. Louisa May Alcott’s semi-autobiographical Shawl Straps (1872) includes a packing list of these items, and it was no doubt quite accurate—Alcott traveled to Europe as a chaperone from 1865 to 1866 and again with her sister May and friend Alice A. Bartlett from 1870 to 1871.[57] Alcott’s list included “six fine dressing-cases . . . four smelling-bottles, one for each nostril; bed-socks; rigolettes; afghans; lunch-baskets; pocket-flasks; guide-books; needle-cases; bouquets in stacks; and a great cake with their names on top in red and blue letters three inches long.”[58] Whitney probably had many of these items in her trunks. But as an artist she needed other supplies, too. Recognizing the need female artists had for travel advice, Alcott’s sister May wrote of European travel in relation to the specific needs of women artists. Her Studying Art Abroad and How to Do it Cheaply (1879) focused on logistics like packing “old underclothes” which could be used for paint rags when they were no longer suitable to wear.[59] Despite the emphasis on painters’ needs, this text, too, gives some insight into Whitney’s experience, with information on how to buy a trunk, carry small braziers into cold galleries for warmth, avoid malaria, and find an apartment. Whitney also needed to bring her sculpture supplies; she prepared two boxes of her plaster models for her brother Edward to ship to Rome.[60] These models, for a commission and for work she wanted to revise and improve while abroad, gave her a start in her Roman studio.

With her packing completed, Whitney traveled from Boston to New York on Thursday, February 28, giving her and Manning time to see a new pantograph machine on Friday. Even with their departure looming, they kept up with developments that might help their careers.[61] The next day, Saturday March 2, Whitney and her friends began to cross the “liquid barrier” on the S. S. Mississippi, part of the New York and Havre Steamship Company.[62] According to newspaper advertisements, passage cost $120 for first and $70 for second class. Although there is no record of their ticket purchase, it seems likely that, for this first journey across the ocean, they would have taken first class. At age 46 and 30, Whitney and Manning were older than many of the American artists—male or female—who went abroad. Their age and the fact that they traveled together exempted them from having a male chaperone for the sake of respectability.[63] Instead, they fell into the category of the older, undaunted female traveler, eager to make the most of her stay, widely described and sometimes ridiculed in the popular press.[64]

During this period transatlantic steamships usually landed in England or France. In Whitney’s case, the ship skirted the English coast for a stop in Falmouth, then docked at Le Havre following a long and rough seventeen days. Ocean travel, with its endless days of water stretching out on all sides, was often described as dull.[65] But it could also be traumatic, leaving the traveler sick throughout the journey. In Shawl Straps, Alcott’s alter ego Lavinia is ill until she disembarks at Brest, probably echoing Alcott’s own experience. Whitney fared little better; in her first letter home, written on the fourteenth day at sea, she claimed “we have been more or less miserable since the first sickness wh lasted a couple of days.”[66] The remedies she brought were useless, though she reported being able to eat raw oysters to quell her seasickness.[67]

Although they disembarked on the morning of March 19, Whitney and Manning did not cross the Italian border until April 3, and did not reach Rome until April 24. Traveling across the continent was almost as difficult as crossing the Atlantic due to the variety of routes and the complications of languages, customs, lodgings, and luggage.[68] Fortunately, Whitney’s party was met at Le Havre by Boston friend and businessman (and experienced European traveler) Charles T. How, who led the group to Rouen that same evening.[69]

Whitney’s first experience of Europe left her entranced, and aware that she was perhaps overly enthused. Combining guidebook information with her own observations, she wrote:

I am afraid to begin upon the subject of Rouen lest I shd. grow silly + xtravagent in Belmont eyes. Perhaps you know that Rouen is the ancient capital of Normandy—that Wm the Conquerer went from his palace here to the conquest of England. But all that one might know of its history and never suggest the faintest image of the quaint aged beautiful old city its churches cathedral palaces + houses their solid oak + stone all greived greived by the tooth of time. Of course I have never seen anything to compare in beauty with the churches there. There are finer + grander ones yet to be seen but I don’t think it is possible to see any wh. will impress us more.[70]

Fig. 4, Anonymous, Rosa Bonheur, ca. 1867. Carte-de-visite. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.

From the very start, it was not only art and architecture that fascinated Whitney; she saw and described as much as possible. The group visited the palace of William the Conqueror and the cathedral of Notre-Dame, where the heart of Richard I of England is buried.[71] They also saw the Tour Jeanne d’Arc, the alleged prison of Joan of Arc, and the Place du Vieux-Marché, her execution site. Whitney recommended that her family read a biography of the popular saint by Alphonse de Lamartine.[72] The saint’s role as a woman who defied conventions made her especially appealing to emancipatory women like Whitney.[73] Beyond these major sites, Whitney took an interest in Rouen itself, the people, and even the horses, which she equated with those painted by Rosa Bonheur, whose carte-de-visite was in one of Whitney’s photo albums, demonstrating her awareness of European art (fig. 4).[74]

The friends remained in Rouen for less than two days, departing for Paris on the morning of March 21. It was a short journey and How had booked them comfortable rooms at a pension bourgeoise at 148 rue de Rivoli.[75] After settling in they immediately went to the Louvre, then the Western world’s most celebrated museum. Whitney felt overwhelmed:

My little xperience at the Louvre yesterday PM is not worth relating the building itself seems to be without beginning or end + it is a somewhat new sensation to an American who has never stood bef. a picture so intensely that the dispute about its authorship was not more so to see these works with the great names confidently printed below pictures wh. we have heard of all our lives + seen engraved an hundred times it is fortunate in one sense that nobody’s xperience can help our eyes. A new world cannot be disenchanted + robbed of its novelty because everybody has travelled thither + gone into hysterics over it.[76]

Immediately she recognized the difference between reproductions and the real thing, and this must have made her even more determined to see as much art as possible while abroad. However, although the travelers returned to the Louvre several times, Whitney did not describe the art in any detail; she may have felt it would be futile, given all that she wanted to say.

But Whitney did describe many of her experiences to her family. She even included details about the weather (that and health were among her most frequent topics); in one letter, she bemoaned the poor Parisian weather, noting “We have some blessings in Amera if we do not have art + antiquity.”[77] Since art and antiquity were ostensibly the reason she embarked on this journey, she used the popular guidebook from the Italian bookseller Librairie Galignani to plan her days.[78] In addition to visiting the Louvre, the women listened to high mass at Notre Dame,[79] climbed the Pantheon to admire the city from above,[80] and saw the paintings in the Luxembourg palace.[81] Whitney went to the Musée des Souverains to view Napoleon’s costumes and accessories, as well as his tomb in the Invalides.[82] Throughout her time abroad, European leaders and royalty in particular fascinated her, even when she disagreed with their government.

In Paris, as elsewhere, they had relatively little contact with the native population. Instead, they socialized with other Anglo-Americans, among them Mary Putnam, a friend of Bridges studying at the École de Médecine in Paris who later returned to the United States to become an influential physician.[83] Both Whitney and Shannon were bothered by the way Parisians openly stared at them as they walked about the streets, unaccustomed as they were to seeing women unescorted, but they took this as a cultural characteristic and tried to ignore it.[84] Whitney observed the French as keenly as she herself was observed: she noticed the licensed prostitutes in the Bois de Boulogne, and mentioned them in part to condemn United States officials who were considering similar licensing.[85] This must have been a surprising site to her sober New England sensibilities. Since Whitney often phrased her observations to point out the differences between the United States and Europe, it is no coincidence that she followed her description of prostitution by asking if Kansas had voted for women’s suffrage yet.

The travelers must have felt conflicted about leaving Paris with so much more to see and do, including the opening of the Exposition Universelle d’Art et d’Industrie on April 1. This much anticipated and wide-ranging display of more than 50,000 exhibitors from around the world included many works of art.[86] The Shannons and How attended it before leaving on April 5 for southwestern France.[87] Bridges did, too, before leaving to join the painter William Trost Richards in Darmstadt.[88] But Whitney and Manning, probably compelled by Whitney’s longing to get to Italy,[89] left the morning the Exposition opened, arriving in Mâcon that night. The next day, they caught a crowded overnight diligence, a type of stagecoach, to Saint-Michel and then a covered sleigh to cross the Alps at Mont Cenis. They may have felt deceived by John Murray’s popular guidebook, which stated that “the means of travel in Switzerland have been greatly improved and increased. . . . The high roads are excellent, and those over the Alps are marvels of engineering skill.”[90] In fact, before 1871, when the first tunnel through the Alps was completed and travel became easier and faster, visitors had to choose a route and conveyance based on the time of year, weather, and ultimate destination, and the journey was not always as easy as Murray implied. Whitney’s choice of words in her letter home—they were “packed like herring in a box” inside the “horrid” diligence, “half-stifled by . . . fat neighbors”—made her discomfort obvious, as did her paraphrase of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “travelling is the fool’s paradise.”[91]

By the morning of Wednesday April 3 they were in Turin, where they visited what Whitney referred to as “a magnificent gallery”: this most certainly was the collection of the royal house of Savoy, now the Galleria Sabauda, which was housed in the Palazzo dell’Accademia delle Scienze.[92] Even more impatient to reach Rome, now that they were actually in Italy, they remained only one night. The next day they embarked on a long train ride through the landscape of northern Italy en route to Florence. Whitney observed that Italians lived among vast mountains, higher and seemingly more ancient than those she knew at home.[93]

They arrived that evening, and when Whitney sat down to write to her family three days later, she was still enchanted with the very idea of being in Italy. She began her letter, “how I want to see you! but I stifle as well as I can my longings + look about me + say with all the complacency I can muster well this is Italy.”[94] Florence had become increasingly popular with travelers after it was named capital of the newly unified Italy in 1865. The city welcomed an influx of Anglo-Americans who formed their own community both inside the city walls and among the villas in the surrounding countryside.[95] With the assistance of James Jackson Jarves and his wife, Isabelle Hayden, Whitney and Manning found lodgings near Santo Spirito and settled into an active social and sightseeing schedule.[96] Jarves had been in Europe since 1852 with only brief visits home for business ventures or to market his painting collection, so his advice was much respected.[97] Whitney had known the couple since at least 1865, when he praised her Africa and they had dinner with her in Boston.[98] Jarves insisted that they remain in Florence until after Easter to avoid the travelers who elevated prices and clogged the more desirable hotels and apartments in Rome during that popular season.[99] Whitney tried to justify the unexpected wait: “we thought it best to delay awhile + get a little insight into medieval antiquity bef. we attacked the Colisseum + other grey beards of that class.”[100] With this reasoning, their journey went backward through time, from the modern world of the United States, to medieval France and Florence, with the ultimate goal of ancient Rome. During this three-week delay, Whitney and Manning dined several times with the Jarves family; one night they met the African-American physician Sarah Parker Redmond and the miniature painter Caroline Negrus Hildreth (widow of historian Richard Hildreth).[101] On another night, the physician Benjamin Barnard Appleton gave them advice on bankers in Rome.[102]  They also spent time with the Richards, who came to Florence from Lake Geneva, after leaving Fidelia Bridges, on their way to Rome.[103]

The women also visited major monuments in and around the city. They drove out to Galileo’s tower, admiring the view, recounting Milton’s visit, and quoting Browning, then stopped off at San Miniato on the way home.[104] On another drive they went to Fiesole, again admiring the scenery as well as the Etruscan ruins, but not the persistent evidence of Franciscan activity.[105] They wandered through the English cemetery, leaving flowers on the graves of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Theodore Parker.[106] They took what must have felt like a pilgrimage to see Casa Guidi, the former home of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, where on a later trip Whitney rented an apartment.[107] They visited the Accademia and the Bargello.[108] Over an especially busy two-day period they went to San Lorenzo, the Palazzo Pitti, and Bellosguardo.[109] The Pitti and adjacent Boboli Gardens were notable not only for art but also as the residence of King Vittorio Emanuele II, dismissed by Whitney as a largely ineffectual monarch.[110]

Fig. 5, Jane Benham Hay, A Florentine Procession, 1867. Oil on canvas. Homerton College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Whitney and Manning also sought out the studios of colleagues like Whitney’s Boston friend Thomas Ball and Hiram Powers to view their works in progress.[111] Mrs. Jarves took them to see the English artist Jane Benham Hay’s large painting A Florentine Procession in Francesco Saverio Altamura’s studio in the via Barbano (fig. 5).[112] Whitney knew Hay had an Italian lover (though she may not have known it was Altamura), and she knew Hay was the teacher of Elizabeth Adams, sister of her friend Annie Adams Fields.[113] These facts alone made Hay an interesting subject for a letter home. But Hay’s choice of subject—a late fifteenth-century bonfire of vanities organized by the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola—would have particularly interested Whitney, who was fascinated by historical themes. She later obtained a copy of George Eliot’s Romola (1863) to read about the era.[114] Even more importantly, Whitney must have been impressed by the reception Hay’s painting received, which was unusual for a foreign artist and especially for a woman.[115]

Hay’s keen observation of daily life in clothing, accessories, setting, and the physiognomy of her subjects would have appealed to Whitney, who later achieved considerable fame as a portraitist. As a precursor to this, Whitney scrutinized the native population around her with great curiosity, her letters home becoming verbal portraits of the Italians she encountered. While in Italy (and, later, elsewhere in Europe), Whitney became particularly intrigued by the lower classes and their lives, and commented on them regularly. In Florence she sympathetically described some of the poor:

Old beggar women (+ men) come round you + plead, with 80 + more winters I was going to say but summers is better in their wrinkles + when a sou stands for so much, I for one cannot refuse. They are so clearly looking so patched so pleasant what if some of them do make a trade of their infirmities + prize a crippled limb as a soldier’s widow might a pension! There are enough who have worked their day out + now only ask not to die by starvation. The wretchedness of living among the poorer Italians is evinced in the deformities so common among them. I never saw so many dwarfs.[116]

These observations about the people she saw were more detailed, and often more vivid, than the comments she made about art and architecture.
Their Florentine weeks were busy, but both Whitney and Manning were eager to continue on to Rome. On Tuesday, April 23 they took the first class overnight train arriving in Rome the next morning after about twelve hours of travel. Here, as in Florence, they were guided by the advice of other travelers. Annie Adams Fields recommended that they stay in Signore Costanzo’s hotel; this was probably the Hotel Costanzi in the via di San Nicola da Tolentino, cited in English-language guidebooks as comfortable lodgings near the Spanish Steps.[117] This area contained everything travelers needed: banks, reading rooms, shops ranging from tailors to grocers, and plentiful rental properties accustomed to dealing with a foreign clientele. Life in Rome required surprisingly little contact with Italians, beyond those who worked in positions that catered to this community. Guidebooks recommended using English or American services when possible—Murray’s notes, “they are more to be relied upon for punctuality, good articles, and honesty, than the native shopkeepers.”[118] This kind of advice kept travelers at a distance, making Whitney’s detailed observations of the Italians around her even more exceptional.

Whitney and Manning primarily socialized with the expatriate community of female artists, many of whom came from the Boston area. Whitney already knew Harriet Hosmer, through whom she met actress Charlotte Cushman. The relationships among the women who lived in and around Cushman’s apartments in the via Gregoriana were complicated, and grew more so after 1855, when sculptor Emma Stebbins arrived in Rome and took Hosmer’s place in Cushman’s affections.[119] By the time Whitney arrived in Rome, Cushman and Stebbins were together and Hosmer had met the Scottish collector Louisa, Lady Ashburton, with whom she began a long relationship. Cushman organized numerous social events to which Whitney and Manning were invited, and they became part of her female-centric circle by mid-May.[120] In so doing they implicitly rejected the other group within the American community, which revolved around William Wetmore Story in his prestigious Palazzo Barberini residence. Whitney visited Story’s studio on one of her first days in Rome and admired his work, but by late June she reported that he was a snob.[121]

Whitney also reconnected with sculptor Margaret Foley. Foley began her professional career as a schoolteacher and a textile worker, but trained herself as a sculptor.[122] Before leaving Massachusetts for Rome in 1860 she was close to Whitney and her friends, particularly the painter Ellen Robbins, and while abroad Whitney often sent her family news of the success Foley had carving bas relief portraits and ideal busts for travelers.[123] Whitney and Manning spent much time with Foley and her companion, the English sculptor Elizabeth Hadwen.

Edmonia Lewis was another important member of Whitney’s social circle. Part Native American and part African, Lewis was educated at Oberlin College, the first, and at that time the only, school to admit women and men of all races.[124] She came to Boston with a letter of introduction to William Lloyd Garrison, hoping to study sculpture. Through Garrison or his aide, Maria Weston Chapman, she met the artist Edward Brackett and Whitney, who helped her with modeling and introduced her to her family. She earned enough money selling plaster casts of her bust of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the African-American 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, to pay for her passage to Italy in late 1865. Whitney told her family about Lewis’s studio, which used to belong to the Italian sculptor Antonio Canova, and noted, “She thinks she has been tolerably successful + her work on a casual glance looks as if she had improved.”[125]

Shortly after arriving in Rome Whitney met painter sisters Mary Elizabeth and Abigail Osgood Williams from Salem, best known as the Misses Williams. The sisters moved to Italy in 1861 and remained abroad until 1872, returning for extended periods in the years to follow. They painted originals and copies for the tourist market, and established studios in Salem, Boston, and Rome to sell their own paintings as well as the works of other artists alongside antiquities and curios from their travels. Their brother Henry was a leading ophthalmologist who began to treat Whitney’s sister and mother for their recurrent eye problems shortly after Whitney departed, and Sarah asked her sister if she had met them in a letter that summer.[126]

Although Whitney mentioned other men and women, Hosmer, Cushman, Stebbins, Foley, Lewis, and the Misses Williams appeared most frequently in her letters home. These women helped Whitney and Manning settle into Rome and find an apartment.[127] Louisa May Alcott’s friend Alice A. Bartlett wrote two articles about her Roman experience, emphasizing both the freedom of apartment life, as opposed to a hotel or boarding house, and the comparatively low cost. Calculating for three women living together—as Whitney, Manning, and Bridges planned to do—Bartlett put room, board, and other expenses at 8 francs a day (travelers often calculated in dollars or francs instead of the more variable Italian currency), a sum she described as “not dear.”[128]

Within a week of their arrival Whitney and Manning moved into an apartment on the first floor of via Felice 107 (now via Sistina) for $25 a month; Whitney proudly told her family that this was an auspicious building, former home of John Flaxman and near those of Salvator Rosa and Claude Lorrain. But she admitted that the rooms were not ideal for the winter months, so they would only stay a short time.[129] Whitney described the apartment in even more detail in her next letter, apparently depending on Murray’s Handbook for some of the information about the area and its history.[130]

Whitney knew that domestic affairs interested her family, probably more than topography and history, and she devoted a great deal of attention to them in her letters. Food was a particularly important subject. She had already regaled them with the details of her Florentine diet, describing asparagus, lettuce, and artichokes, part of the six-course meals provided at their boarding house, and she was fascinated by the unsalted butter in both Florence and France, which came in wafer thin and beautifully crafted cakes.[131] She mentioned butter again in Rome, where small pats stamped with the city symbol, the she-wolf with Romulus and Remus, were delivered wrapped in grape leaves each morning.[132] These edible bas reliefs seemed particularly marvelous to her, even though as her time in Rome passed she came to realize that the city was much more complex, and not necessarily as impressive, as the heroic symbolism the ancient founding myth implied.

Fig. 6, Anne Whitney, Sketch of a Roman stove. Pen and ink. From a letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun June 23, 1867. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.136.

Finding ways to cook in a foreign country, butter delivery notwithstanding, was a concern. Some travelers ordered restaurant meals delivered in tin boxes heated by charcoal; at meal times porters crowded the streets making deliveries, and guidebooks touted this as an economical option.[133] However, after an unsatisfactory experience, the women decided to hire a housekeeper named Loretta, the sister-in-law of the physician who owned their apartment, and she cooked their food. She had a rough start; Whitney described a particularly trying meal when Loretta insisted that a pigeon “with a bodyguard of 6 of the smallest potatos, neighbored by another small dish of green peas seasoned with garlic in cross sections + nutmegs chopped” would suffice in quantity and quality.[134] A quick (though undoubtedly difficult, given the language barrier) conversation about dietary needs solved the problem. Meals improved and incorporated as many familiar ingredients and recipes as possible, despite the fact that all cooking was done in earthenware pots on a brick bench with holes on the top for charcoal fires.[135] Whitney was rather amazed by these stoves, and included a sketch in her letter home (fig. 6). She also described the bounty of fruits and vegetables, staples of Italian diets as they were of New England diets, to assure her family that she could eat sufficiently well in a foreign land.[136]

Ificleo Ercole, an agent with Freeborn & Co. bankers, helped the women with the practicalities of life in Rome, arranging money matters, mail, and other necessities.[137] When they asked him if it was safe to walk unescorted at night, he insisted “ladies are never attacked by robbers here— + that it is a protection to a man to have a woman alongside. He cd. concieve of no other reason for such a semi-milennial state of affairs than that the rogues are more afraid of screams than fists.”[138] They began Italian lessons with Madame (as Whitney styled her) Sopranzi, after admitting their independent efforts to learn the language “were tending greatly to desultoriness.”[139] In her first letter from Rome Whitney described a ride in the campagna with Harriet Hosmer[140] and a hike up to the dome of Saint Peter’s to look at the city below.[141] On another day she went with the Richards to see the Palazzo Sciarra and the Vatican sculpture collection.[142] Despite some exhaustion, Whitney and Manning followed this up with a day at the Forum and the Capitoline Hill.[143] Whitney took advantage of excavations in the Forum to purchase a recently unearthed stone for a friend’s son, though she later complained of the pillaging that had left Rome in such ruins.[144] They met up with the Richards family, who had preceded them to Rome, and joined them for a ride on the Via Appia and a visit to the Lateran museum.[145] Charlotte Cushman drove them out to Saint Paul’s in her carriage and the group marveled at its rebuilding after the devastating 1823 fire.[146] The women looked for the remains of a first-century Praetorian Guard camp on the Viminal hill but gave up in the heat.[147] Since the late afternoon was cooler, they regularly walked on the Pincian hill at sunset to enjoy the view.[148] They purchased tinted glasses to protect their eyes,[149] explored the English language newspaper options available at Piale’s reading room in the Piazza di Spagna,[150] and dealt with flea outbreaks.[151]

The pleasant spring weather ended in June, the same time as a number of Catholic Church ceremonies. Guidebooks supplied liturgical calendars and other information to help the predominantly Protestant travelers appreciate these spectacular but unfamiliar events.[152] Their attendance had the benefit, for the papacy, of increasing crowds (regardless of the fact that most travelers were not there for devotional purposes), so entrance was easy to obtain.[153] But Whitney went with some suspicion. During her lifetime growing numbers of immigrants, many from Catholic countries like Ireland and Italy, had settled around New England, and for several years Massachusetts was largely governed by politicians with extreme anti-immigration platforms.[154] At the same time, American writers and news accounts decried what they saw as the despotism of the Church.[155] Even a progressive thinker like Whitney would have been influenced by this attitude, but obviously not enough to keep her out of Italy altogether, or even to keep her away from all Church ceremonies. On the feast of Corpus Domini, held in 1867 on June 20, Whitney and Manning went to Saint Peter’s to watch the ceremony with Margaret Foley. Whitney reported on the procession and vestments in great detail.[156] Like many travelers, she was intrigued by the pomp, but found the busy calendar frustrating for the way it interrupted daily life. On June 24, the feast of John the Baptist, she complained, “Today is a festa. Yesterday was a festa. Every other day about is a festa. On a festa you can get nothing done for money + certainly not for any other consideration.”[157] But her frustration did not stop her from describing the stalls to purchase food and drink outside the church of the Lateran and the mixture of sacred and profane ritual staged to entertain the Roman population, native and visitor alike.[158] A few days later on June 29 the feast of Saints Peter and Paul was set to culminate in an evening illumination of Saint Peter’s, which required hundreds of workers—some of them mere children, the aptly named Sanpietrini—to light pans of oil simultaneously all along the top of the church and colonnade to outline the complex in flames. But Whitney and Manning missed it; they had departed for the summer two days earlier.[159]

By this time all of Whitney’s friends had left the city or were preparing to do so. Bad air (literally mal aria) coming from the swampy countryside around Rome—described by a contemporary as a “wondrous waste”[160]—was enough of a concern to be a plot device in Henry James’s Daisy Miller (1878).[161] This, and the threat of cholera, made most foreigners and some native Romans leave town during the hottest months. Hosmer went to Paris on June 29 and Cushman and Stebbins went to England on July 1, while Lewis traveled to Paris, and Florence Freeman to the baths at Lucca; by late June, Foley was still unsure of her destination but she eventually left, too.[162] Even their Italian teacher fled, though she invited her students to join her on the volcanic island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples.[163]

Since they had only just arrived, Whitney and Manning considered remaining in the city. Even when they recognized that they would have to leave for health reasons, they took some time to decide on a destination.[164] Their first choice was Switzerland; they had traveled through the country on their way to Rome, but had seen very little. They also knew that the best time to visit was July through September, taking advantage of the long days and temperate weather.[165] Though it had little to offer in terms of the art and antiquities Whitney craved, she and her family spent summers in New Hampshire, where she later purchased a farm in the White Mountains and supported the Appalachian Mountain Club. This first summer in Europe, therefore, became more about nature than art. But costs were a concern.[166] Whitney’s family was financially secure, as was Manning’s, but the women did not want to overspend at the start of their time abroad before they even set a return date. William Trost Richards and Dr. James B. Gould, an American physician and long-time Roman resident, finally assured them that the trip was affordable, and they began to make plans in May.[167] This was not easy; guidebooks and the advice of friends could only go so far. The women left Rome without a precise itinerary, but they hoped to meet up with Richards, Bridges, and the Shannons as they traveled. In a letter to Whitney’s family before their departure, Manning wrote, “But tomorrow night sees the end of all this + we leave with light hearts + light luggage (only one trunk between us for three mos) to go probably to some little village near Vevey on L. Geneva where Fidelia is, but we have several days to change our minds in, though we hardly need any more xercise of that kind.”[168]

They took that one trunk and departed Rome the evening of June 27, heading north through Bologna, and arrived in Milan on the evening of June 29. As Manning suffered from a discreetly unnamed “travel difficulty,” they decided to stay until she recovered. Whitney was amazed by the cleanliness of the city (and its lack of open latrines) in contrast to Paris, Florence, and Rome.[169] The women visited the Duomo, where Whitney marveled at the sculpture[170] and later climbed to the top to see the view.[171] They also went to Santa Maria delle Grazie to study Leonardo’s ruined Last Supper.[172] They were entertained by the many musical offerings across the city.[173] But again, as in Florence, Whitney was fascinated by the conditions of the disabled and poor, here in regard to the effects of scrofula and rickets.[174]

Fig. 7, Anne Whitney, Sketch of a coupé. Pen and ink. From a letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun July 1, 1867. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.137.

Fig. 8, Anonymous, Château de Chillon, ca. 1867. Carte-de-visite. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.

With Manning recovered they departed for Arona on July 9, arriving the next day at noon. They made a quick visit to the Borromeo castle, admiring the enormous statue of Saint Carlo Borromeo and rowing on the lake before taking the coupé to Domodossola.[175] Whitney disliked this mode of travel and included a sketch of the vehicle in her letter home, labeling the parts to make her description clear (fig. 7). From Domodossola they went over the Simplon Pass to Veytaux on July 16. They walked to Grandchamps and met up with Fidelia Bridges, who joined them on a visit to the Château de Chillon. This castle, on the shores of Lake Geneva, was a popular destination for many travelers, made famous in part by Lord Byron’s poem. Whitney purchased photographs of the site (fig. 8).[176]

Whitney remembered that the Shannons and Charles How planned to stay at La Tour-de-Peilz, and she and Manning surprised them there on July 20; they reciprocated by visiting Whitney and Manning in Interlaken on July 22.[177] Whitney, Manning, and Bridges continued their travels through Switzerland to Lauterbrunnen, where they joined the Richards; in a letter home Whitney noted “Mr. R sketches all the days + notwithstanding weather.”[178] They then moved on to Tell’s Platte, where they remained from August 26 to October 9 in an isolated chalet in the mountains.[179] Whitney wrote of everything she saw in Switzerland, from lammergeiers to glaciers.[180] With similar engagement she described the illegitimate children and those suffering from goiter, a continuation of the keen observations of the disadvantaged she had made in Italy.[181]

Although her description of the Alpine landscape was very detailed, Whitney made little mention of art during these months. She bought clay in Milan, but did not begin to work with it until September.[182] She soon modeled “little figures 7 inches high,” and eventually cast them in plaster; this small effort made her feel better about taking the time away from what she considered her real work in Rome.[183] But Whitney does not mention these figures again; all of her surviving work is larger, so they represented an anomaly in her production, no doubt due to the need for portability while traveling. Sketching would have been easier. She may have joined Richards in this, and in at least one instance she and Manning drew a picturesque church in Flüelen.[184] At the same time, she had to deal with the disposition of her life-size marble Lady Godiva (1863), which had remained unsold when she left home.[185] Despairing of earning back her expenses, and seeing no other solution, she wrote to offer it to her friend Marianne Cabot Devereux Silsbee, wife of politician Nathaniel Silsbee, Jr.[186] This was a calculated choice, motivated by the hope that Silsbee would promote her work among affluent Boston patrons. Silsbee was thrilled with the generous offer and happily accepted.[187] The plaster model remained in Whitney’s backyard studio, and although Whitney told her sister it should be “knocked to pieces + given to the land,” Sarah refused such drastic measures, leaving it intact for Whitney to dispose of herself when she returned.[188]

Manning, however, was able to use this Switzerland summer to her advantage artistically: she created her best known work, The Maid of Mont Blanc. Before leaving for Europe, Manning sold a drawing, described only as “Ruth,” to Boston’s Hendrickson, Doll, & Richards Gallery, known for its use of lithography to popularize images.[189] The gallery made Manning’s drawing into one of these lithographs. Given the context, it was presumably a representation of the Old Testament Ruth, a popular subject at the time, especially among American sculptors in Italy, who succumbed to what one review described as “Ruth fever,” creating multiple variations on the theme that were then reproduced both in full and reduced sizes for the eager market.[190] It is not difficult to imagine that Manning chose this subject as a sort of tribute to Whitney’s desire to travel abroad. William H. Gerdts has argued that the popularity of this iconography, representing Ruth as a woman working in a foreign land, may have resonated with these sculptors who did the same.[191] As Manning knew, Whitney very much hoped to imitate Ruth and join their ranks. The Hendrickson, Doll, & Richards Gallery was able to capitalize on the widespread popularity of Ruth with Manning’s lithograph, which was cheaper and easier to sell than a sculpture in Boston and beyond. The painter Elizabeth Bartol and Sarah Whitney reported good sales of the lithograph, though it generated no income for Manning; Carrie and Edward Whitney had one in their home, and Carrie expressed regret that only the Gallery profited from its sale.[192] The Gallery was understandably pleased with this venture; in July, Ellen Robbins reported that “[Doll] told me Miss Manning’s crayon was going to be quite popular + I see he always has one in the window . . . [He] told Mrs Hemenway that he expected Miss Manning would draw a companion while in Rome to the Ruth picture—are you going to? Mrs Hemenway wanted to buy the original + he said he could not dispose of it at present.”[193]

Manning may have been thinking about a companion print for Ruth even before they received the letter from Robbins; all she needed was inspiration. While in Lausanne the women could see Mont Blanc across Lake Geneva but they did not have time to visit it.[194] However, Manning apparently made sketches, and when she returned to Rome she developed them into a finished composition. By early January Mary Shannon reported to Sarah Whitney, “I am in hopes to go to Adie’s studio this week—They say she has a lovely ideal head.”[195] Since this was meant as a companion to the earlier Ruth, that one was probably also an ideal head. Manning’s greater exposure to ancient and Renaissance art, even after only a few months abroad, would have made this format especially interesting to her. The head was completed and photographed by mid-March, when Whitney mentioned it in a letter to her sister.[196] It seems logical that Manning had it taken to send to Mr. Doll, to gauge his interest in her new composition. Manning’s friends were enthusiastic about the work; the next summer Shannon wrote to Sarah Whitney, “You have, of course, heard all about the Maid of Mont Blanc and what an inspiration Addie had, coming so near to the original mountain peak without ever having looked upon it.”[197]

Fig. 9, Addy Manning (print by Albert Dubois), Maid of Mont Blanc, 1869. Lithograph. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

With the reported success of the Ruth lithograph in mind, Whitney and Manning debated the best way to promote this new effort. Whitney wrote home and revealed that Manning’s Aunt Elizabeth wanted to buy the original drawing—probably to assist Manning financially—but that Manning intended to let Doll produce a lithograph in exchange for half the future profits.[198] However, these plans changed, for whatever reason, and by November Manning decided to sell it to Doll outright, without a share in profits, and she sent it to Sarah Whitney to assist with the arrangements.[199] Once the original was in his possession Doll arranged for Albert W. Dubois to make the lithograph, and on September 6, 1869 the Gallery registered the title The Maid of Mont Blanc with the district clerk’s office of Massachusetts and claimed copyright.[200] This drawing does not seem to have survived, but the lithograph, which must closely replicate it, represents a female head against a mountain, a white cap on the darker hair resembling a snow covered peak, perhaps indicating that Manning anthropomorphized another mountain in that range to create her head (fig. 9). In doing so, she may have been thinking of the Old Man of the Mountain, a rocky outcropping in the shape of a man’s head in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, which Manning knew of from Whitney’s visits to that area.[201] Her image of this female head is similarly evocative.

To heighten the appeal of the lithograph, which was intended for the decoration of domestic interiors, the gallery circulated a romanticized version of the origin of the image. According to this, a group of travelers to Mont Blanc saw a cloud formation resembling a human head and one of them sketched it as the basis for the lithograph.[202] However, since Whitney does not describe such an incident in her otherwise very detailed letters from this period, it seems unlikely that the image came about in this way; indeed, the solidity of the head against the more distant and atmospheric mountain argues against it being a cloud formation. Whether this story helped market the image or not is unclear, since few of these lithographs have survived, or at least few are identified in collections today.

Switzerland was a welcome respite, and for Manning at least it was a productive artistic experience. But the women were anxious to get back to Rome and settle into their new lives. After some weather-related delays, on the morning of October 9, Whitney, Manning, and Bridges began their journey south via the St. Gotthard pass. News had reached them in Switzerland about the unstable political situation in Italy, with Giuseppe Garibaldi and his followers again inciting unrest, and they monitored it as best as they could with the help of letters from Mr. Ercole, Dr. Gould, and their new Roman landlady, Mrs. LaMonica.[203] As Whitney later reminded her anxious family, Garibaldi had been active against the papacy for so long that rumors about revolution held little weight; during the summer, the more immediate concern had been cholera.[204]

But revolution—or at least an attempt at it—finally did happen. Garibaldi was vocal about his plan to march on Rome, and the Florentine-based government gave tacit support by doing nothing to stop him, though French troops threatened to intervene. Hoping to avert conflict, the prime minister had Garibaldi arrested on September 23, but he escaped and reunited with his supporters to prepare their entry. Few people knew exactly what was happening or when. But Whitney must have felt confident about the information they had, because she closed a letter home on October 16—before boarding the overnight train to Rome—by trying to quell her family’s fears. She wrote, “The journey to Rome is not likely to be adventurous—they say that women are let pass without any question + Americans particularly, everybody is wishing they were going to Rome now to be present at the long-talked-of revolution.”[205]

Whitney was proven wrong within hours. The three friends purchased tickets for the first class carriage, avoiding what Whitney uncharitably described as “closer quarters where tobacco with its collateral charms + garlic qualify the too human composition of the air.”[206] They departed as planned and traveled until noon the next day, when the train was turned back by Garibaldi’s supporters two hours from Rome. The women stopped overnight in Terni, hoping to proceed to Rome the following morning, but the hotel was dirty and the situation still problematic, so they returned to Florence instead. On October 19, the prime minister resigned, weakening Garibaldi’s base of support. Whitney and her friends left Florence again on the morning of October 20, while unbeknownst to them Garibaldi and his troops moved toward Rome, waiting for an uprising that never happened. He misjudged the support of the Romans, who were not necessarily happy under papal rule, but not necessarily confident in Garibaldi, either. This stalemate enabled the women to travel to Rome, arriving safely later that night. Whitney’s letters from this period are full of reports about the situation, though at times the paucity of information made her accounts unreliable or at the least hyperbolic.[207] The pivotal battle took place on November 3 in Mentana, a few miles northeast of Rome, where the French and papal troops crushed Garibaldi’s weakened force; following this, Roman life settled back into relative calm.

Before they left for the summer the women had signed contracts for both Whitney’s studio and a new apartment, and they moved directly into both when they returned. The studio search was complicated, and Whitney turned down damp, noisy, and untested possibilities.[208] She finally settled on a well-lit space on the corner of via di San Nicola da Tolentino, below the celebrated German painter Johann Friedrich Overbeck, at $130 for the year.[209] Their housekeeper Loretta, who returned to their service, found a man to help set it up to meet Whitney’s needs, taking on, among other tasks, the unpacking of the boxes of plaster models her brother had shipped the previous spring; by early November she was ready to work in her own space.[210]

The new apartment was even more of a prize and perfect for the three friends at $400 for the year. Whitney told her family:

We had often noticed a house of quite an antique, beautiful pattern standing on the brow of the Pincian + looking + 2 ways over Rome + longed to look into it—at last, 1st of June, the sign was hung out—We have since heard that this house is considered the best in Rome, for situation + attractiveness—It is called il Tempieto—little temple— + there are but 2 suites—the lower with quite a number of rooms—the upper with 4 + a kitchen. In our xperience the best apartments had never been so high in proportion + often actually not so high as others—so we get into a way of looking at anything is of we might trade . . . It is a charming place— + our kitchen is on the very tip-top of the house.[211]

Fig. 10, A. Belisario, Hilda’s Tower, ca. 1867. Carte-de-visite. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.

The height from their perch at the top of the Spanish Steps gave them a view over much of the city. Years later, Fidelia Bridges reminisced about this in a letter to a friend, writing, “the top floor was ours and all Rome lay at our feet.”[212] This lofty position must have made the women think at least briefly of Hawthorne’s Marble Faun and the fictional Hilda, who occupied an apartment in an actual tower near the church of Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi, less than a mile away. Despite Whitney’s professed dislike of the novel, she purchased a photograph of that tower, which she labeled “Hilda’s Tower,” for one of her photograph albums (fig. 10).

The women settled into Roman life, knowing they would be there for an extended period. Loretta helped them feel at home, preparing American foods like the cornbread with molasses known as Indian cake.[213] Whitney continued to make comparisons between what she ate and what her family knew; food like lettuce, strawberries, squash, potatoes, applesauce, and plum pudding warranted mention, and artichokes were compared to oysters to make them more familiar.[214] She also depended on more experienced residents like the Misses Williams for advice. The sisters never fully assimilated; in 1866 a correspondent for Harper’s wrote that their apartment made her homesick, with its sketches of New England scenery and a copy of the Springfield Republican newspaper.[215] They had found ways to live as comfortably in Rome as they had in Massachusetts, and counseled Whitney, for example, on how to have roasts cooked in the bakery, since the brick stovetop could not manage them even with Loretta’s considerable skill.[216] This was especially helpful at Thanksgiving, or as Whitney referred to it in the context of the Roman calendar she was becoming accustomed to, “St. Turkey’s Day.” They invited Cushman and Stebbins to join them, but the couple had plans and in the end Whitney thought it just as well, given the complications this meal, and entertaining in general, entailed.[217] Indeed, when they had the Shannon party for dinner in December they had to borrow utensils to serve everyone properly.[218] But the inconvenience was worth it. The Shannons remained in Rome for several months, and the friends alternated hosting; referencing their respective towns, Mary Shannon wrote to tell Sarah Whitney that “The girls call it coming to Newton when they visit us, and we, Belmont when we ascend their hill.”[219]

But this desire for home comforts did not mean they did not appreciate Rome. They enjoyed a nearby garden whose owner—an unidentified princess—gave them permission to wander about (but unfortunately said nothing about picking the blooms).[220] They continued their Italian lessons with Madame Sopranzi several times a week, sometimes visiting monuments to practice more specialized vocabulary; they went together to the church of Sant’Onofrio to see where the Renaissance writer Agostino Tasso spent his last years.[221] As the months passed, they wandered through the Baths of Titus, the Golden House of Nero,[222] and the Baths of Caracalla;[223] they visited the Colosseum by moonlight.[224] They enjoyed art at the Capitoline museums,[225] the Quirinale,[226] the Farnesina, and the Palazzo Spada,[227] as well as the Vatican Pinacoteca, the Sistine Chapel, and the Stanze.[228] They visited the Villa Wolkonsky[229] and when it grew cooler and the health risks abated, they enjoyed drives further out in the campagna.[230] While outside the city walls they visited the catacombs of St. Agnese and the church of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura.[231] Ancient Rome fascinated, but burial practices in modern Rome, at the new cemetery near San Lorenzo, shocked them with its open lime pits that anonymously received each day’s dead.[232]

The women marveled at the constant excavations that brought new finds to the surface, including, while they were there, the discovery of the ancient Marmorata on the banks of the Tiber.[233] Many travelers wanted to see curiosities come out of the ground; according to Whitney, officials excavated Pompeii to entertain important visitors.[234] Yet this sightseeing was wearying and had to be done in moderation to preserve one’s health. Whitney promised her family that she was being careful:

I must if possible correct the impression conveyed in my letters from Rome of xtraordinary drafts made upon us by sight-seeing there—Rome is the most xhausting place on earth to those who do not or will not know how to take it—but we used the utmost moderation in doing about—often after going thro a gallery resting for days . . . we have in no instance so over wrought that a full day’s repose has not been sufficient to renew us.[235]

Being in Rome meant constant awareness of the Catholic Church. Whitney’s observations combined her empathy for the less fortunate with what she considered the problems of papal rule. The more time she spent observing Church activities, the more appalled she was by what she saw as the blind faith of the population and its willingness to believe in, as she put it, “Pontius Pilate’s staircase—lumber-yards of the true cross + 2 heads of St. Peter.”[236] She found devotion to such seemingly miraculous objects, especially in the face of papal abuses of power, exceedingly troubling. In one letter home she exclaimed, “If only this lumbering stupidity called Catholicism might be thrown overboard!—it is strange that with so much contempt for priest-craft the people shd. as a general thing be catholics + believers.”[237] “Priestcraft,” in this context, encompassed the many elaborate ceremonies staged by the Church. Some were unique occurrences: in March 1868 Lucien-Louis-Joseph-Napoleon Bonaparte, cousin of the reigning French emperor, Napoleon III, received a cardinal hat with much fanfare, emphasizing the alliance between the papacy and France.[238] Other celebrations took place annually, like those she attended the previous June. On November 2, All Soul’s Day, Whitney went sightseeing on the Capitoline hill, as well as the baths of Titus and the Domus Aurea, because her studio was not yet ready and no Italians would work on a holiday.[239] On November 4, the Feast of Saint Carlo Borromeo included a grand procession through the expatriate community on the via del Corso attracted many observers. Conveniently, the Misses Williams lived on the Corso, so they invited Whitney and her friends to watch it with them: “Tomorrow we are invited to Misses Williams rooms to see a procession, in wh the pope appears in a velvet + plate glass carriage, wherein he rides but once or twice in the year— + the cardinals also prance along in their +c +c.”[240]

The elaborate events surrounding Carnival and Easter were especially exciting for travelers; in fact, the great influx of visitors to Rome at this time of year was what detained Whitney and Manning in Florence the previous spring.[241] At the start of Carnival, on February 15, Whitney, Manning, Bridges, and the Shannons watched the procession and horse race from the balcony of the Misses Williams.[242] The week around Easter provided the biggest attractions, and the banking houses assisted their clients by providing tickets for these events. Whitney avoided the feet-washing ceremony at the church of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini because of the huge crowds that flocked, eager to see the pope enact such a humble ritual in contrast to the extravagance that dominated so many of these celebrations.[243] But she was not so jaded that she ignored everything; on the evening of April 12 the women went to St. Peter’s to attend the illumination, while friends watched from a distance at the ideally located Tempietto, and the next day more friends came to the Tempietto for fireworks, too.[244]

Fig. 11, Anne Whitney, Roma, ca. 1869. Plaster. Photograph. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.

But the contrast between these obviously costly affairs and the poverty of ordinary Italians became increasingly difficult for Whitney to ignore.[245] Other travelers were more detached and enjoyed their time in Italy without thinking about the social problems that made their lives there both inexpensive and enjoyable. Still others were conflicted: Emma Cullum made dismissive comments about beggars as “horrid, nasty creatures” and then a few months later condemned the way in which the papacy spent money while ignoring its needy followers.[246] But Whitney seemed genuinely distraught. Like many Anglo-Americans, Whitney loved Italy despite Italians, whom she often described as untrustworthy.[247] But her sympathy to their plight under papal rule—even if partly a product of her anti-Catholic beliefs—sets her apart. Her sympathies seemed to culminate during her second year in Rome, when she combined her observations about the defeated lower classes, subjugated by the papacy, and her study of Ancient art to model her Roma, a representation of the modern city in the guise of an elderly beggar woman (fig. 11). As Lisa B. Reitzes has demonstrated, the statue (which only survives as a later small-scale bronze) allowed Whitney to explore her interests in social justice and the plight of the poor in a particularly effective manner.[248] She continued to do this throughout her time abroad, incorporating starkly realistic representations with social commentary, in works like her lost statue of the Haitian independence hero Toussaint L’Ouverture (begun 1869), and her Le Modèle (1875; now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), a bust of the elderly French peasant who modeled for her in Ecouen.[249] Like Roma, these demonstrate Whitney’s interest in the world and the people around her, as well as the influence of the art she studied abroad.

Although she had obviously been thinking about these themes since she first arrived in Italy, evidenced by her detailed observations of the destitute citizenry, Whitney did not begin to work on Roma, her first entirely new and fully conceptualized sculpture since traveling to Europe, until the winter of 1869. By that point, the first thrill of being abroad was past. She had seen many of the major (and minor) sites of the city, and she had settled into a routine. She socialized with her sister artists and was aware of their creative efforts, which she occasionally mentioned to her family, pleased with their success and perhaps a bit envious, too. Whitney did not see Hosmer’s Sleeping Faun at the Exposition in Paris, though Mary Shannon did, but both spoke of her work on the companion sculpture, Waking Faun, during this year.[250] Whitney preferred Hosmer’s popular representations of children, which sold in considerable numbers.[251] Both Whitney and Shannon also reported on Foley’s success, revealing that she had some $3,000 in commissions in January 1868, more than half again what Whitney spent during her entire first year abroad.[252]

But not all of her comments were positive. Whitney gossiped about Hosmer’s participation in the Roman fox hunts.[253] She criticized Stebbins’s Horace Mann statue, but regretted her words later and either she or her sister Sarah destroyed the offending letter.[254] She also gossiped about Lewis, referring to her as an African princess[255] and seeming more amused than outraged at the prejudice she endured.[256] Sarah Whitney heard a rumor that Lewis had converted to Catholicism and Whitney confirmed it, describing it as more of a social decision than a religious one.[257] On the other hand, Whitney always welcomed Lewis into her home and sent along greetings—and in one case a photograph—to her family.[258] But Whitney also critiqued Lewis’s sculpture, more so than any other sister artist’s work during these first sixteen months, observing that Lewis needed more study but seemed to be improving.[259] This was almost certainly an indication of the high standards Whitney applied to herself and others regardless of race. Since both women were interested in the iconography of social justice, however, Whitney may have seen any success Lewis achieved as detrimental to her own prospects.

Whitney was at a different stage in her career than her sister sculptors in Rome; she was conscious of her age and lack of experience, so Rome, for her, was a place to learn. In November she wrote:

One idea I sedulously place bef. my eyes. it is that I am here for study—To learn of possibly how to do something well. Do not desire that I shd. stand cap in hand, for somebody to buy a pretty thing. If I can make this talent also sufficient + self-sustaining I shall be glad it is what God intended for all faculties—but all is not as God meant it shd. be, + I come late into the field.[260]

Whitney went to her studio daily from nine a.m. to two p.m., but she did not open it to visitors, the usual practice among artists seeking patrons for their work.[261]

Fig. 12, J. J. Hawes, Roman Woman, ca. 1867. Carte-de-visite. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.

Unfortunately, for all of the information Whitney’s letters provide, they reveal little about her working process. Like many sculptors at that time, she modeled first in clay, then cast the finished composition in plaster to preserve it; if she had a commission, the plaster was handed over to a marble carver or bronze caster to create the final version. But no surviving works on paper are attributed to her, whether from this time abroad or otherwise.[262] She may have destroyed her drawings later in life, just like she excised certain letters and letter passages and, for that matter, completed works of art like her Africa, evidence of her reluctance to preserve anything that did not reflect well on her. Comments in her letters imply that she bought casts and hired the models who loitered around the Spanish Steps, aware that it was much easier to do this in Italy than in the United States.[263] She and Manning also purchased cartes-de-visite of monuments, works of art, and Italians wearing indigenous costumes, which they assembled in small accordion-fold albums. These photographs may have been souvenirs, rather like the costume paintings earlier artists made before the advent of inexpensive paper prints.[264] But some depicted recognizable models, and may have been intended for artistic inspiration; one was of Pascuccia, the popular Neapolitan model Margaret Foley used to create several marble reliefs around this time (fig. 12).[265]

Fig. 13, Anne Whitney, Nelly May, modeled 1866–1867, carved 1867–1868. Marble. Photograph. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.

Fig. 14, Anne Whitney, Cherub Window, modeled 1865–1868, carved 1868. Marble. Photograph by A. Sbracia. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.

Whitney worked on both old and new projects during her first sixteen months abroad. The boxes her brother Edward shipped held at least two models she continued to develop during this period.[266] One was a plaster bust of Eleanor, or Nelly, Goddard May, commissioned the year before by her aunt, Whitney’s friend the suffragist Abigail Williams May (fig. 13). In November 1867 she bought a piece of marble to transfer her composition and was surprised to find that it cost as much as in the United States.[267] By early January 1868, when Mary Shannon visited Whitney’s studio, the marble was taking shape. Though it was the practice to hire trained workmen to carve marble based on a model, Whitney did at least some of the carving herself; Shannon observed, “Little Miss May’s face glows with deeper expression as Anne excites her with her chisel.”[268] A controversy over sculptors carving their own marbles erupted several years earlier in relation to Hosmer, so Whitney may have wanted to carve this one to prove that she could.[269] But she could not have done much of it, since she told her family that her studio was not suited for extensive marble carving.[270] Later that month Whitney wrote to Abigail May to tell her that the bust was finished and ready to be sent across the ocean, making this her first completed work abroad.[271]

The boxes from home also contained plaster casts of her tabletop Cherub Window and Three Cherubs (1865). The playful, decorative compositions were surely attempts to cater to the clientele that purchased similar sculptures from Hosmer and others. There is no record of a commission prior to Whitney’s departure, as there is for the bust of Nelly May, but she must have hoped travelers would appreciate the compositions, and a sale could help finance her time abroad.[272] Loyal Mary Shannon preferred Whitney’s groups to similar ones by better-known sculptor William Henry Rinehart, who was also in Rome, and urged her to have one carved in marble to entice buyers.[273] But the expense of putting her Godiva (and her Lotus Eater, as we will see below) into marble made her reluctant to make such an investment again, even on this small scale. But she continued to work on the Cherub Window with her Italian experience in mind, and was pleased when Charles How and a Mrs. Bullard—perhaps the suffragist Laura Curtis Bullard—each ordered a copy for $200 (both now lost); she thought she had a third order, from a Miss Gordon, but it never materialized.[274] By late April Whitney reported How’s marble group was finished, and she hired A. Sbracia’s firm to take a photograph (fig. 14).[275]

How proved to be Whitney’s most appreciative early patron. With, it seems, the encouragement of Mary Shannon, he also ordered a small version of Whitney’s Lotus Eater (now lost).[276] The original life-size marble (1864), nude but for a fig leaf, was based on a Lord Tennyson poem, which was in turn based on a passage in Homer’s Odyssey. The youthful figure and languid pose depended on plaster casts of Praxitelian statues Whitney saw in Boston collections, especially the so-called Marble Faun, the inspiration behind Hawthorne’s novel that she professed to dislike so much. When she left for Europe the statue was at the Devries Gallery in Boston, where it went by the title Dream of Love, which Whitney did not choose and of which she did not approve, with a price tag of $1,500.[277] It was one of her earliest figures, executed before she had much exposure to original art, and probably even less to the male nude, and she knew it had faults. This was probably why she did not include the plaster model in that original shipment of models to Rome. In fact, in a lost letter to Guy Horvath Devries, she asked that he remove the marble from his display.[278] When her request failed to yield results, she had her family retrieve it; they put it in a stairwell in the Whitney home, draped in a sheet, and Whitney probably destroyed it when she returned.[279]

Fig. 15, Anne Whitney, Lotus Eater, 1868. Plaster. Newark Museum, Newark. Photograph by A. Sbracia. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.

Fig. 16, A.H. Folsom, Charles How’s Parlor in Newton, Massachusetts, undated (after 1868).  Photograph. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay family papers.

Fig. 17, Anne Whitney, Chaldean Shepherd, 1868. Plaster. Photograph. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.

Fig. 18, Anne Whitney, Chaldean Shepherd, 1868. Plaster. Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton. Wellesley College Archives, Wellesley, MSS 4.

How’s commission gave her the opportunity to revisit the composition. That fall she asked Edward to ship the plaster model to her. It arrived in early January and her studio assistant helped produce a reduced version.[280] By late March she was so pleased with her progress on modifying it that she invited friends to come see it.[281] She cast this smaller version in April, and Sbracia took a photograph of it (fig. 15).[282] An undated photograph of How’s Massachusetts home shows his finished marble (now lost) in a parlor, surrounded by Victorian-era décor and casts of ancient works of art (fig. 16). Whitney brought this second plaster back from Rome (she probably destroyed that first, life-size plaster after making the reduced version), perhaps hoping she might interest someone else in a commission, but no other versions are known.

At this same time Whitney began to develop a new figure: her Chaldean Shepherd or Astronomer. The sculpture’s origins are confusing, and she does not describe it in detail or mention it by name in her letters. The first version was completely nude, without even the fig leaf of the Lotus Eater (fig. 17). There is no evidence of a commission or a finished marble. She may have intended it as a study only, allowing her to take advantage of the many nude statues all around her in Rome, as well as the many models willing to pose in the nude. Interestingly, she also made a second version, with a loincloth, and this plaster does survive (fig. 18). The nudity, or near nudity in the second version, may have deterred her from mentioning it to her family; many Americans did not approve of nude statues, even those with the cachet of antiquity.[283] After all, in 1876 the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, delayed its opening in order to put fig leaves on the plaster casts of famous statues purchased as part of its original collection.[284] Female sculptors were problematic enough, but female sculptors working on male nudes even more so.

Whitney had been dissatisfied with much of her sculpture prior to her time abroad; the criticism of Africa, and the failure to sell Lady Godiva and Lotus Eater, had been disheartening. As soon as she arrived in Italy, with the work of both ancient and Renaissance masters, as well as that of her more successful contemporaries, all around her, she recognized her faults, expressed her frustrations, and worked to remedy them. In early May, after only a month in Italy, she commented that “there is a great deal to be learned in the way of handling of many of these artists. I think when I get that group of mine [either her Cherub Window or Three Cherubs] I shall break it to pieces.”[285] But as time passed her work improved. Her experience with the second smaller Lotus Eater was particularly positive. In March 1868, a year after departing, she wrote to her family, “I shd like to have you see this statuette. It has been a very satisfactory 2 months study + gives me a feeling of confidence in the step I have taken in coming abroad.”[286] The main reason for this confidence, she knew, was her Italian experience.[287] She continued:

Looking back on the Ethiopian woman [Africa] I can see that I did these thro an instinct (it isn’t the right word) to make things right, as good work as perhaps I shall do, but darkly + without knowledge, blundering + agonizing into the right. If you master a principle you know beyond contradiction when a thing is right + why + put yrself in a position quite above the fear of cavillers. However, as yet I know next to nothing. A whole world of knowledge remains to win by slow acquirements.[288]

By reminding her family of how much more she still needed to learn she was probably hoping to gently counter their expectations that she would return home soon.[289] To make her stay as long as necessary, Whitney kept careful track of her finances. Twelve months after leaving home, she was pleased to announce that her initial estimate of costs for her first year was incorrect; instead of $2,000, she had only spent $1,800.[290] Whitney was conscious of the fact that she was not yet supporting herself with her sculpture, but her time abroad was an investment in her future.

Whitney and Manning lived abroad for a total of five years. On April 14, 1867, Fidelia Bridges left Rome, traveling first to Florence and Naples and then north to sail home later that year.[291] With Bridges gone, the shared costs increased, so the women invited their friend Helen Merrill to join them for part of the next year. The Tempietto was both idyllic and flea-free, and they were loath to find a new place to live.[292] They left Rome to travel in Germany in summer 1868, and Venice, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, and Switzerland in summer 1869. Then in July 1870 they sailed home, returning to Rome in November 1870; by August 1871 they were back in the United States. They traveled again in April 1875, primarily so Whitney could arrange for the carving of her Samuel Adams statue in Thomas Ball’s Florence studio; during this trip, the couple lived apart for several months, with Whitney in Italy and Manning in France. They sailed home in May 1876 and, to the relief of their families, never left again.

Between their second and third trips, Whitney began to receive a significant number of private and public commissions, allowing her to be self-supporting. She created statues of Samuel Adams for the United States Capitol building, and of Leif Erikson and Charles Sumner for public sites in Boston, as well as a number of statuettes and portrait busts. She exhibited locally in Boston as well as at the International Exhibition in London (1871), the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia (1876), and the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893). Given the trajectory of her career, it is fair to say that none of this would have been possible without the experience of her European sojourn.

This overview of correspondence from Whitney’s first sixteen months abroad illustrates the vast range of experiences travel offered her beyond artistic inspiration and training. These experiences, the uniqueness of which was a function of time and place, as well as Whitney’s gender, background, character, and interests, would have been impossible to recreate without the extensive surviving correspondence. This evidence allows us to see her, almost a century after her death, as an individual, rather than part of the anonymous flock described and circumscribed by Henry James. Her time abroad opened her eyes to other cultures and attitudes and gave her a perspective she would not have had if she spent all her years in New England. In Shawl Straps, Louisa May Alcott’s Lavinia spent much of her trip complaining about the stress and strain of life abroad, but even she was transformed by European travel. Whitney would have agreed with Alcott’s heartfelt conclusion, a rallying cry to “all timid sisters now lingering doubtfully on the shore, to strap up their bundles in light marching order and push off. . . . Bring home . . . heads full of new and larger ideas, hearts richer in the sympathy that makes the whole world kin, hands readier to help on the great work God gives humanity, and souls elevated by the wonders of art and the divine miracles of Nature.”[293] Indeed, as Whitney’s letters demonstrate, the difficulties and the risks, particularly for female artists, of going abroad were more than worth it. European travel was not just about the art and architecture; instead, it was about the whole range of experiences one had abroad. For Whitney, these experiences were vital in ways she could not have anticipated when she first set off across the “liquid barrier” in 1867.

[1] This could be difficult. The sculptor Louisa Lander was the subject of a much-discussed and probably much-exaggerated scandal, causing her to leave Italy and in effect give up her career. See Kate Culkin, Harriet Hosmer: A Cultural Biography (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010), 61–62.

[2] “Lady-Artists in Rome,” Art-Journal, n.s., 5 (June 1866): 177–178.

[3] William Richard Cutter, ed., Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern MA (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1908), 4:2000.

[4] John F. McGuigan Jr. and Mary K. McGuigan, James E. Freeman 1808–1884: An American Painter in Italy, exh. cat. (Utica, NY: Brodock Press, 2010), 77, 82, 97–99, and 115.

[5] Eileen Black, “Jane Morgan: A Forgotten Irish Artist,” Irish Arts Review 3, no. 4 (Winter 1986): 21–23.

[6] Algernon Graves, The Royal Academy of Arts: A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and Their Work from its Foundation in 1769 to 1904 (Wakefield: S. R. Publishers, 1970), 2:60. Wreford also mentioned Misses Lloyd, Farrell, and Kabalyne; they cannot be identified.

[7] See, for example, “American Art Abroad,” New York Times, March 6, 1864, 1.

[8] Flake’s Bulletin, January 24, 1868, 5.

[9] Tuckerman confuses American Florence Freeman with Italian-born Horatia Freeman; see Henry T. Tuckerman, Book of the Artists (New York: G. P. Putnam and Sons, 1867), 604.

[10] Ibid., 600–601.

[11] Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1880), 209. Having a painter sister made Alcott aware of the plight of female artists. But she had an interest in art even before May was old enough to make a career choice; her first published story was about male painters in Rome (“Rival Painters, a Tale of Rome,” The Olive Branch, May 8, 1852). In her later publications, Alcott shifted her focus to American female artists, certainly because of May, but also because of the growing number of female artists referenced in the popular press. In An Old-Fashioned Girl (1870), Alcott wrote, “Polly came to know a little sisterhood of busy, happy, independent girls, who each had a purpose to execute, a talent to develop, an ambition to achieve, and brought to the work patience and perseverance, hope and courage . . . young artists, trying to pencil, paint, or carve their way to Rome” (Louisa May Alcott, An Old-Fashioned Girl [Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1870], 228). Similarly, Alcott’s unfinished Diana and Persis (1879) addresses the problems of combining art, marriage, and motherhood, something she watched May attempt with some success from across the ocean. For May Alcott’s career, see Judy Bullington, “Inscriptions of Identity: May Alcott as Artist, Woman, and Myth,” Prospects 27 (2002): 177–200.

[12] Patricia Dunlavey Valenti, Sophia Peabody Hawthorne: A Life (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2014), especially volume 2.

[13] For these volumes, see Timothy Sweet, “Photography and the Museum of Rome in Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun,” in Photo-textualities: Reading Photographs and Literature, ed. Marsha Bryant (Cranbury, NJ: Associated University Presses, 1996), 25–42; and Susan S. Williams, “Manufacturing Intellectual Equipment: The Tauchnitz Edition of the Marble Faun,” in Reading Books: Essays on the Material Text and Literature in America, ed. Michele Moylan and Lane Stiles (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996), 117–150.

[14] May Alcott Nieriker, Studying Art Abroad and How to Do it Cheaply (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1879), 85–86.

[15] Characters in Portrait of a Lady (1881) and The Golden Bowl (1904) have been associated with painter Elizabeth Boott, a friend of James and long-time resident of Florence, although these women were not painters; see Carol M. Osborne, “Lizzie Boott at Bellosguardo,” in The Italian Presence in American Art 1860–1920, ed. Irma B. Jaffe (Rome: Instituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1992), 188–199.

[16] For copyists abroad, see my “Infesting the Galleries of Europe: The Copyist Emma Conant Church in Paris and Rome,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 10, no. 2 (Autumn 2011). On the perception of women in public places, see Hollis Clayson, Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2003).

[17] Henry James, William Wetmore Story and His Friends, from Letters, Diaries, and Recollections (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1904), 1:257.

[18] Ibid., 1:254.

[19] Ibid., 1:257.

[20] On James’s negativity regarding neoclassicism and women, see Elizabeth Powers, “‘Interrogation of the Past:’ Henry James and William Wetmore Story,” Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics 16, no. 2 (2008): 51–70; and Jane May Roos, “Another Look at Henry James and the White Marmorean Flock,” Woman’s Art Journal 4 (Spring–Summer 1983): 29–34.

[21] For romantic but largely accurate biographies of Whitney, see Mary A. Livermore, “Anne Whitney,” in Our Famous Women: An Authorized Record of Their Lives and Deeds (Hartford: A. D. Worthington & Co., 1884), 668–690; and Julia Ward Howe, ed., Representative Women of New England (Boston: New England Historical Publishing Company, 1904), 102–105. A more detailed but now outdated account is provided in Elizabeth Rogers Payne, “Anne Whitney: Nineteenth-Century Sculptor and Liberal,” typescript, Wellesley College Archives. The most thorough, though again outdated, list of Whitney’s oeuvre is Elizabeth Rogers Payne, “Anne Whitney, Sculptor,” The Art Quarterly 25 (1962): 244–261. However, despite important articles on different aspects of her art and life by Melissa Dabakis, Janet Headley, Elizabeth Rogers Payne, Lisa B. Reitzes, and Nancy Scott, there is no monograph to date. Whitney and the American women sculptors in Rome have received attention from several scholars, among them William Gerdts, whose 1972 catalog for an exhibition at Vassar College is still a useful overview, and Melissa Dabakis, whose forthcoming study on gender and expatriation, A Sisterhood of Sculptors (2014), was not available when I wrote this article. The work of some of these sculptors and their painter sisters has been included in recent exhibitions, including The Lure of Italy (Boston, Cleveland, and Houston, 1992), A Studio of Her Own (Boston, 2001), Americans in Paris (Oklahoma City, 2003 and London, Boston, and New York, 2006), America’s Rome (Cooperstown, 2009), and Americans in Florence (Florence, 2012). Monographs on Harriet Hosmer by Dolly Sherwood and Kate Culkin, on Edmonia Lewis by Kirstin Pai Buick and Harry and Albert Henderson, and on Vinnie Ream by Edward Cooper, as well as additional studies focused on Whitney’s friends, like the actress Charlotte Cushman, the writer Annie Adams Fields, the sculptor Emma Stebbins, and the author and painter Celia Thaxter, among others, indicate a growing interest in these women.

[22] For further information, see Elizabeth Rogers Payne, “Anne Whitney: Art and Social Justice,” The Massachusetts Review 12, no. 2 (Spring 1971): 245–260; and Lisa B. Reitzes, “The Political Voice of the Artist: Anne Whitney’s Roma and Harriet Martineau,” American Art 8 (Spring 1994): 45–65.

[23] J. David Hacker, Libra Hilde, and James Holland Jones, “The Effect of the Civil War on Southern Marriage Patterns,” The Journal of Southern History 76 (February 2019): 39–70.

[24] I am grateful to Elizabeth Lechner for her close examination of Whitney’s literary interests.

[25] Letter from Sarah Whitney to Rebecca Northey, February 15, 1859, Rebecca Maria (Northey) Buffum correspondence, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum; and Mary Bartlett Cowdrey, National Academy of Design Exhibition Record 1826–1860 (New York: New York Historical Society, 1943), 2:206.

[26] On the Academy, see Christine Jones Huber, The Pennsylvania Academy and its Women, 1850 to 1920 (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1973). Although her nature studies were circulated via the chromolithographs of Louis Prang, Bridges is little known today; see Katherine E. Manthorne, “‘The Voice of Nature:’ The Art of Fidelia Bridges in the 1870’s,” American Arts Quarterly 29, no.1 (Winter 2012); and Frederic A. Sharf, “Fidelia Bridges (1834–1923): Painter of Birds and Flowers,” Essex Institute Historical Collections 104, no. 3 (1968): 217–238.

[27] For this question, see Carol Smith-Rosenberg, “The Female World of Love and Ritual: Relations Between Women in Nineteenth-Century America,” Signs 1, no. 1 (Autumn 1975): 1–29.

[29] Only a few passages remain, but whether they should be interpreted as examples of contemporary romantic prose or more erotically charged is uncertain; for example, Whitney wrote to Manning, “Monday night I shall be with you + I will not be responsible if being stranded on Calypso’s island I am not able thro’ the wicked enchantments of the place to get off for two days” (Letter from Anne Whitney to Addy Manning, May 31, 1860, WCA MSS 4).

[30] Letter from James Fenimore Cooper to Mount Auburn Cemetery, January 20, 1915, Mount Auburn Cemetery Archives. I am grateful to Meg Winslow, curator of historical collections at Mount Auburn Cemetery, for her assistance with this documentation.

[31] For an earlier joint burial, see Rachel Hope Cleves, Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014); additional examples are listed in Cleves, 253 n. 18.

[34] Mary Suzanne Schriber, Writing Home: American Women Abroad 1830–1920 (Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1997).

[35] Payne, “Anne Whitney: Nineteenth-Century Sculptor,” 17–21; however, I have not found explicit statements about this in the correspondence. For Whitney’s friends’ letters, see Cornelia Carr, ed., Harriet Hosmer Letters, Memories (New York: Moffat, Yard and Company, 1912); Annie Adams Fields, ed., Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1911); Emma Stebbins, ed., Charlotte Cushman: Her Letters and Memories of Her Life (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1900); and Letters of Sarah Wyman Whitman (Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1907).

[36] Whitney occasionally caught herself writing things she might regret; in one letter she confided, “[Hosmer] . . . told us the whole story of it—I don’t know if they are reconciled—haven’t asked—but there was plenty of bitterness—(private).” (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun March 28, 1869, WCA MSS 4.173). The word “(private)” meant her family should not share this information about an argument between Hosmer and Cushman with others. Sometimes, however, Whitney didn’t catch herself until later; in a lost letter, she must have criticized the Horace Mann statue by Emma Stebbins, because she later asked her sister to be discreet about it (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun March 22, 1868, WCA MSS 4.153envelope-icon). In another letter she wrote, “I forgot to ask you to destroy that sheet in my last letter in wh. I spoke of family matters but I wish you wd.” (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, September 10, 1867, WCA MSS 4.143); the previous letter, begun August 30, ends abruptly, perhaps indicating Sarah (or Whitney herself) destroyed the offending page.

[37] In 1869 Whitney wrote, “When the other day I saw H Merril burning up her whole stack of letters, I asked her if she always did so, she said yes—ever since the Portland fire—for at that time the private domestic scandal that got abroad, thro letters picked up + read by the public was a caution against all such tenderness of one’s correspondence—I must say it seems to me only an act of common prudence to do so + I wd. willingly sacrifice every letter I have recd to be sure that mine had gone to glory in an auto da fe. Letters that have no public significance are but passing things like the words of the mouth + very rarely are wanted for refce + the convenience of them for such occasions is over weighed by the risk to one’s relations with persons to whom no harm is meant.” (Letter from Anne Whitney to Sarah Whitney, begun March 28, 1869, WCA MSS 4.173). Later in her life, in a lost letter to her friend Mary C. Shannon, Whitney suggested they destroy each other’s letters; Shannon replied, “I fully agree with you, and would be greatly obliged to you to destroy everything of mine you have in your possession, and I will in turn consign all your lovely notes to the flames, that they may help feed the beauty that covers the earth.” (Letter from Mary C. Shannon to Anne Whitney, May 9, 1878, WCA MSS 4). The Shannons were involved in a contentious divorce and would have wanted to eliminate evidence of it, though Whitney apparently did not obey her own suggestion.

[38] For the circumstances of women’s travel, see Whitney’s acquaintance Alice A. Bartlett, “Some Pros and Cons of Travel Abroad,” Old and New 4 (October 1871): 433–442.

[39] Letter from Sarah Whitney to Rebecca Northey, January 1857, Rebecca Maria (Northey) Buffum Correspondence, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum.

[40] Letter from Charles Godfrey Leland to Anne Whitney, November 6, 1859, WCA MSS 4.

[41] Letter from Anne Whitney to Charles Godfrey Leland, November 9, 1859, Charles Godfrey Leland papers [0363], Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

[42] Letter from Adeline Manning to Anne Whitney, April 1, 1860, WCA MSS 4.

[43] Letter from Anne Whitney to Addy Manning, undated, WCA MSS 4.

[44] Letter from Anne Whitney to Addy Manning, April 26 or 27, 1860, WCA MSS 4.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Letter from Anne Whitney to Addy Manning, September 11, 1860, WCA MSS 4. Hosmer’s description of Whitney as her “brother sculptor” indicates a level of familiarity as well as an awareness of the gender norms female sculptors transgressed.

[47] Their concerns appeared in almost every letter nonetheless; see, for example, Letter from Sarah Whitney to Anne Whitney, begun March 13, 1867, WCA MSS 4.190envelope-icon.

[48] Letter from Anne Whitney to Addy Manning, undated (June 7, 1863), WCA MSS 4.

[49] Letter from Anne Whitney to Addy Manning, January 11, 1866, WCA MSS 4. “Catharrel” or “catarrhal,” a term popular during Whitney’s era, referred to inflammation of the mucous membrane; it seems to have been used freely for cases of bronchial infections, ear infections, and related problems.

[50] Letter from Russell Sturgis Jr. to Anne Whitney, February 11, 1865, WCA MSS 4; and, for the criticism, which often emphasized the lack of African features, see “A Word about the Statues,” Boston Recorder, June 16, 1865; and Melissa Dabakis, “Ain’t I a Woman? Anne Whitney, Edmonia Lewis, and the Iconography of Emancipation,” in Seeing High and Low: Representing Social Conflict in American Visual Culture, ed. Patricia A. Johnston (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006), 84–102.

[51] Straws, Jr., “From New York: The National Academy of Design—Conclusion, Sculpture,” Springfield Republican, August 5, 1865, 3.

[53] Letter from Addy Manning to Anne Whitney, February 21, 1867, WCA MSS 4envelope-icon. The funds probably came from the Brown family, whose children she cared for; see Letter from Fidelia Bridges to Phebe Brown, begun June 27, 1868, box 9, Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family Papers, 1789–2000 bulk (ca. 1870s–1996), Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

[55] Letter from Addy Manning to Anne Whitney, February 21, 1867, WCA MSS 4envelope-icon; for lemons, see Michel Nelken, Sea-Sickness: Its Cause, Nature, Symptoms, and Treatment Derived from Experience and Strict Observation (New York: Stringer & Townsend, 1856), 21.

[57] Daniel Shealy, ed., Little Women Abroad: The Alcott Sisters’ Letters from Europe, 1870–1876 (Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2008). During the second trip, Alcott and her companions socialized with Whitney and Manning in Rome.

[58] Louisa May Alcott, Shawl Straps (Boston: Little, Brown, 1915), 4.

[59] May Alcott Nieriker, Studying Art Abroad and How to Do it Cheaply (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1879), 8–9.

[62] The company advertised itself as American-owned, which may have been why Whitney and her friends chose it from the many possibilities; see “Patriotic and Business Enterprise: An American Line for Europe—The New York and Havre Steamship Company Again in Operation,” New York Times, November 20, 1865, 8.

[63] Fidelia Bridges, traveling alone through northern Italy and across the Alps in the summer of 1868, wrote that other travelers wondered where “Mr. Bridges” was (Letter from Fidelia Bridges to Phebe Brown, begun June 27, 1868, box 9, Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family Papers, 1789–2000 bulk (ca. 1870s–1996), Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institutionenvelope-icon).

[64] Lucy H. Hooper, “American Women Abroad,” The Galaxy 21, no. 6 (June 1876): 818–822.

[65] Alfred Huidekoper, Glimpses of Europe in 1851 and 1867–68 (Meadville: Printed for the author, 1882), 99–100.

[67] Letters from Anne Whitney to her family, March 15, 1867, WCA MSS 4.127envelope-icon and March 22, 1867, WCA MSS 4.129envelope-icon; on oysters as a cure for seasickness see “Editor’s Table,” Appletons’ Journal 1 (November 1876): 474.

[68] For an alternative route see William Wetmore Story, Roba di Roma (London: Chapman and Hall, 1863), 1–8. Story’s narrative was widely read, popularizing this route for travelers and providing those left behind with a way to learn about their loved ones’ lives abroad; see, for example, Letter from Carrie and Edward Whitney to Anne Whitney, June 20, 1867, WCA MSS 4.296envelope-icon.

[69] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, March 21, 1867, WCA MSS 4.128envelope-icon. How and his brother Isaac were involved in shoe manufacture in Boston, but he spent much time abroad; my thanks to Laura Reiner for her assistance with How’s biography.

[71] Ibidenvelope-icon. On the relic, see Philippe Charlier et al., “The Embalmed Heart of Richard the Lionheart (1199 A.D.): A Biological and Anthropological Analysis,” Scientific Reports 3 (February 2013): 16.

[72] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, March 21, 1867, WCA MSS 4.128envelope-icon. Whitney incorrectly described Sarah Grimké as the author of Lamartine’s volume, although in actuality she was the translator; Whitney’s abolitionist family would have known of or even known Grimké and her sister Angelina, so Whitney’s error is not unexpected.

[73] Nora M. Heimann and Laura Coyle, Joan of Arc: Her Image in France and America (Washington, DC: D. Giles, 2006).

[74] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, March 21, 1867, WCA MSS 4.128envelope-icon. Bonheur’s Horse Fair (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) was exhibited to great acclaim in New York from 1857–1858, and Whitney may have seen it while visiting family in the city.

[75] Louisa May Alcott stayed in this boarding house in 1866; see Joel Myerson and Daniel Shealy, eds., The Selected Letters of Louisa May Alcott (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995), 112.

[78] For Whitney’s use of this guidebook (and her variable spelling), see Letters from Anne Whitney to her family, March 22, 1867, WCA MSS 4.129envelope-icon and begun March 31, 1867, WCA MSS 4.130envelope-icon.

[85] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun March 31, 1867, WCA MSS 4.130envelope-icon. For a review of contemporary attitudes toward prostitution, see Jacqueline Shelton, “Evil Becomes Her: Prostitution’s Transition from Necessary to Social Evil in 19th Century America” (MA Thesis, East Tennessee State University, 2013).

[86] Fr. Ducuing, ed., L´exposition universelle de 1867 illustrée (Paris: Commission Impériale de l’Exposition Universelle, 1867). These massive fairs did not appeal to everyone; for an appraisal of this one as “one of the most wearisome places in the world,” see Huidekoper, Glimpses of Europe, 104.

[90] A Handbook for Travellers in Switzerland, and the Alps of Savoy and Piedmont (London: John Murray, 1867), xix.

[91] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun March 31, 1867, WCA MSS 4.130envelope-icon. For Emerson, see Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays (Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1863), 71. Later, when they were settled comfortably in Turin, Whitney decided, “Emerson is not much after all.”

[95] On Florence in this era, see Margherita Ciacci and Grazia Gobbi Sica, eds., I giardini delle Regine. Of Queens’ Gardens: The Myth of Florence in the Pre-Raphaelite Milieu and in American Culture, exh. cat. (Livorno: Sillabe, 2004); and Francesca Bardazzi and Carlos Sisi, Americans in Florence: Sargent and the American Impressionists, exh. cat. (Venice: Marsilio, 2012).

[96] They first stayed one night in the Hotel d’Italie; see Murray’s Handbook of Florence and its Environs (London: John Murray, 1867), iii; and Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun April 17, 1867, WCA MSS 4.132envelope-icon.

[97] For Jarves, see Francis Steegmuller, The Two Lives of James Jackson Jarves (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1951); and Flaminia Gennari Santori, “James Jackson Jarves and the Diffusion of Tuscan Painting in the United States,” in The Anglo-Americans in Florence: Idea and Construction of the Renaissance, ed. Marcello Fantoni (Rome: Bulzoni, 2000), 177–206.

[98] Letter from Anne Whitney to Addy Manning, January 7, 1865, WCA MSS 4.

[99] Jarves counseled them to remain in Florence and then travel with his family to Lucca, avoiding Rome until October, but Whitney objected (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun April 7, 1867, WCA MSS 4.131envelope-icon); in the end, however, she was glad she remained those additional weeks in Florence (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun May 2, 1867, WCA MSS 4.133envelope-icon).

[111] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun April 17, 1867, WCA MSS 4.132envelope-icon; Huidekoper visited the same two studios a few months later (Huidekoper, Glimpses of Europe, 142–143). Ball described his studio in My Threescore Years and Ten (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1892), 264–266. Whitney continued relationships with Ball and Powers (and after his death, with his son Preston) for the rest of her life.

[112] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun April 17, 1867, WCA MSS 4.132envelope-icon; for the painting, see Anabel Robinson, John Purkis, and Ann Massing, A Florentine Procession (Cambridge: Homestead Press, 1997). Hay and Anna Mary Howitt (a daughter of Margaret Foley’s friends William and Mary Botham Howitt) studied in Munich with Wilhelm von Kaulbach, and Howitt wrote about the experience in An Art Student in Munich (London: Longman, 1853).

[113] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun April 17, 1867, WCA MSS 4.132envelope-icon. Little is known of Adams’s painting career; see Rita K. Gollin, Annie Adams Fields: Woman of Letters (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2002), 13. She visited the Dulwich Picture Gallery later that summer (Visitor Book 1, Aug 29th 1867 to Jan 12th 1869, entry dated August 29, Dulwich Picture Gallery Archives). Sarah later reported that Miss Adams had returned to Rome (Letter from Sarah Whitney to Anne Whitney, begun February 22, 1868, WCA MSS 4.229envelope-icon), but Whitney thought she was in Paris (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun April 30, 1868, WCA MSS 4.156envelope-icon).

[114] Whitney read the book in Switzerland that August; see Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun July 31, 1867, WCA MSS 4.139envelope-icon. Her sister Sarah read many books set in Italy to help her understand Whitney’s experience better; see Letter from Sarah Whitney to Anne Whitney, begun July 12, 1867, WCA MSS 4.197; and, for her reading Romola, Letter from Sarah Whitney to Anne Whitney, begun April 17, 1868, WCA MSS 4.232envelope-icon and Letter from Anne Whitney to Sarah Whitney, begun October 1, 1868, WCA MSS 4.165. Like Hawthorne’s Marble Faun, Romola was available through several publishers, including a Tauchnitz edition with blank pages to insert photographs.

[115] For the painting’s reception, see Charles Richard Weld, Florence. The New Capital of Italy (London: Longmans, Green, & Co., 1867), 227–229; T. Signorini, “Processione fiorentina nel carnevale del 1497. Quadro della Sig. Benham Hay,” Gazzettino delle arti del disegno, April 20, 1867); and “Picture Galleries: The French Gallery, 120, Pall Mall,” The Chromolithograph, November 23, 1867, 14–15.

[116] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun April 17, 1867, WCA MSS 4.132envelope-icon. For a similar perspective, see Huidekoper, Glimpses of Europe, 211–212. Whitney refers to a “sou,” the common term for a French coin of very little value.

[117] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun May 2, 1867, WCA MSS 4.133envelope-icon; see A Handbook of Rome and its Environs (London: John Murray, 1867), ix.

[118] A Handbook of Rome, xxiv; see also Alice A. Bartlett, “Our Apartment: A Practical Guide to Those Intending to Spend a Winter in Rome,” Old and New 3 (April 1871): 399–407 and (June 1871): 663–671.

[119] On this network, see Lisa Merrill, When Romeo was a Woman: Charlotte Cushman and Her Circle of Female Spectators (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000).

[120] Whitney’s health limited her social life in these early weeks (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun May 13, 1867, WCA MSS 4.134envelope-icon), but she did tend to complain about social expectations, too. In 1868 she noted, “The bane of students + students’ work here is this eternal going. The now acknowledged best painter in Rome Hotchkiss has kept himself entirely aloof from it + his work thanks him + the public thanks it. . . . He paints + lives in one of those altitudinous lofts in Roman houses that are reached by toil of heart + breath + foot but delightful when once attained.” (Letter from Anne Whitney to Sarah Whitney, begun December 25, 1868, WCA MSS 4.169). Social obligations even became a bit much for Cushman at times (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun April 30, 1868, WCA MSS 4.156envelope-icon).

[121] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun May 2, 1867, WCA MSS 4.133 and Letter from Anne Whitney and Addy Manning to the Whitney family, begun June 23, 1867, WCA MSS 4.136envelope-icon. Whitney may have been influenced by the comments of the other women in Cushman’s loyal circle, or she may have been annoyed that he did not return her original call. But almost two years later Hosmer pointed out that Whitney had erred by leaving her card at Story’s studio, rather than at his home: “She . . . remarked that I knew how very punctilious all the residents are in the Roman etiquette of being called on first by new-comers or visitors + then said that of course I did not xpect to be recognized socially when I had only called at the studio + that had I done my duty of leaving a card at their door the call wd have been returned.” (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun February 18, 1869, WCA MSS 4.171; for this etiquette, see also Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun October 28, 1867, WCA MSS 4.147envelope-icon; and Huidekoper, Glimpses of Europe, 150).

[122] On Foley’s career, see Harriet H. Robinson, Loom and Spindle or Life among the Early Mill Girls (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Company, 1898), 150–154; and Eleanor Tufts, “Margaret Foley’s Metamorphosis: A Merrimack Female Operative in Neo-Classical Rome,” Arts Magazine 56, no. 5 (January 1982): 88–95.

[124] Lewis received some training in art while at Oberlin; see Marcia Goldberg, “New Discoveries: A Drawing by Edmonia Lewis,” American Art Journal 9 (November 1977): 104; and J. T., “More Information on the Edmonia Lewis Drawing,” American Art Journal 10 (May 1978): 112. For more on Lewis, see most recently Harry Henderson and Albert Henderson, The Indomitable Spirit of Edmonia Lewis (Milford CT: Esquiline Hill Press, 2012).

[127] Eventually newcomers sought out Whitney for advice, too. For example, when sculptor Vinnie Ream came to Rome in 1869 to have her controversial statue of President Abraham Lincoln carved in marble (Melissa Dabakis, “Sculpting Lincoln: Vinnie Ream, Sarah Fisher Ames, and the Equal Rights Movement,” American Art 22, no. 1 [Spring 2008]: 78–101) she immediately called on Whitney, who seemed to want little to do with her, telling her family that Ream had little talent. She noted that the Lincoln “is somewhat better than the busts wh are dough—but crude enough. It is easy to see how the girl has got on. She is a wide-awake little thing” (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun December 12, 1869, WCA MSS 4.187). Whitney’s attitude might be attributed in part to jealousy, since she herself was only moderately successful at more than twice Ream’s age. But her criticism of Ream’s sculpture was much more damning than anything she said about Lewis and she believed Ream relied on others excessively, like Prussian sculptor Karl Voss; for Voss see “Fine-Art Gossip,” The Athenaeum, March 19, 1859, 394; and F. S. Bonfigli, Guide to the Studios in Rome with much Supplementary Information (Rome: Tipografia Legale, 1860), 76. When someone like Ream did not meet Whitney’s standards she was quick to point out deficiencies, and she was distressed that Ream might make life more difficult for her more talented sister artists, who had plenty of obstacles to overcome as it was.

[128] Bartlett, “Our Apartment,” 405.

[133] On the tin box dinners, see A Handbook of Rome, xi. Whitney mentions them again in Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun April 17, 1868, WCA MSS 4.155envelope-icon, and other travelers commented on them, too; see, for example, Bartlett, “Our Apartment,” 666; Huidekoper, Glimpses of Europe, 191; Anonymous, “Italian Living,” The Nation, July 4, 1867, 14–15 (where a similar system is advocated for the United States to ease housekeeping burdens); and Letter from Mary C. Shannon to Sarah Whitney, January 6, 1868, WCA MSS 4.348envelope-icon.

[135] For these stoves, see Letter from Anne Whitney and Addy Manning to the Whitney family, begun June 23, 1867, WCA MSS 4.136envelope-icon; and Levina Buoncuore Urbino, An American Woman in Europe: The Journal of Two Years and a Half Sojourn in Germany, Switzerland, France, and Italy (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1869), 202.

[136] Letter from Anne Whitney and Addy Manning to the Whitney family, begun June 23, 1867, WCA MSS 4.136.envelope-icon On the Italian diet, see W. B. J., “A Journey Round the World with a Knife and Fork: Chapter VII; Italy,” Once a Week, December 21, 1867, 730–732. My thanks to Tiffany Liao for information on Italian foods.

[139] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun May 13, 1867, WCA MSS 4.134envelope-icon; Sopranzi is listed as a teacher for ladies at her residence at the via dei Cappuccini 25 in A Handbook of Rome, xxii.

[151] Fleas were a popular topic in Whitney’s letters. For a preventative measure, see ibidenvelope-icon. Dried chamomile, or fleawort, killed a variety of vermin; see David Ames Wells, The Year-Book of Agriculture (Philadelphia: Childs & Peterson, 1856), 1:206. Whitney and Mrs. Richards were not the only victims; see John R. Thompson, “Reminisces of Rome,” The Southern Literary Messenger 22, no. 1 (September 1856): 213. My thanks to Leah Abrams for her investigation of Italian fleas.

[152] See, for example, A Handbook of Rome, xxx–xxxi and lii–lv.

[154] For attitudes to immigrants, see Tyler Anbinder, Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know-Nothings and the Politics of the 1850s (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992); and Paul A. Manoguerra, “Anti-Catholicism in Albert Bierstadt’s Roman Fish Market, Arch of Octavius,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide 2, no. 1 (Winter 2003). I am grateful to Jessie Van Amburg and Emily Frisella for their research on Whitney’s views of religion and Italians.

[155] Robert S. Levine, “‘Antebellum Rome’ in The Marble Faun,” American Literary History 2, no. 1 (Spring 1990): 19–38.

[156] Letter from Anne Whitney and Addy Manning to the Whitney family, begun June 23, 1867, WCA MSS 4.136envelope-icon. For another description of this event, see Emma Cullum Cortazzo, Journals and Letters of Emma Cullum Cortazzo, 1842–1918 (Meadville, PA : E. H. Shortle, 1919), 123–125.

[158] Ibidenvelope-icon. For a description of the preliminary events, see “Modern Roman Mosaics: The Eve of Saint John,” All the Year Round, January 24, 1874, 298–300.

[159] Letter from Anne Whitney and Addy Manning to the Whitney family, begun June 23, 1867, WCA MSS 4.136envelope-icon. Others chose to stay specifically for this celebration, which was described in guidebooks and traveler accounts; see A Handbook of Rome, 114 and Cortazzo, Journals and Letters, 118–119.

[160] J. V., “A Page of Life in Rome,” Once a Week, February 4, 1865, 173.

[161] Like other travelers, Whitney was aware of this danger; she told her family that a certain Miss Pomeroy fell ill after an evening at the Colosseum (Letter from Anne Whitney to Sarah Whitney, begun March 13, 1871, WCA MSS 4.11).

[162] Letter from Anne Whitney and Addy Manning to the Whitney family, begun June 23, 1867, WCA MSS 4.136envelope-icon. The female artists were noted for their late departures, as if they wanted to get in as much work as possible before leaving for the requisite three or more months each year (“Rome,” The Evening Post [New York], June 18, 1868, 1).

[163] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun June 9, 1867, WCA MSS 4.135envelope-icon. They later learned that there had been an earthquake on August 15 in Ischia, an area prone to seismic activity, no doubt making them glad they chose Switzerland instead (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun December 19, 1867, WCA MSS 4.150envelope-icon).

[165] A Handbook for Travellers in Switzerland, xxxii.

[176] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun June 21, 1867, WCA MSS 4.138envelope-icon. I am grateful to Giovi Mier for her research on Chillon.

[177] The La Tour meeting was described in Letter from Mary C. Shannon to Sarah Whitney, July 21, 1867, WCA MSS 4.346envelope-icon and Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun July 21, 1867, WCA MSS 4.138envelope-icon. For Interlaken, see the latterenvelope-icon. The irregular mail system made meetings difficult; on December 18, the Shannons surprised Whitney and her friends by knocking on their Roman door to begin an extended visit; see Letter from Mary C. Shannon to Sarah Whitney, January 6, 1868, WCA MSS 4.348envelope-icon and Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun December 19, 1867, WCA MSS 4.150envelope-icon.

[178] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun July 31, 1867, WCA MSS 4.139envelope-icon. On Richards abroad, see Carol M. Osborne, William Trost Richards: True to Nature (London: Philip Wilson, 2010), 40; and Linda S. Ferber, “Never at Fault”: The Drawings of William Trost Richards (New York: Hudson River Museum, 1986), 59–73.

[179] For Whitney’s description of a photographer taking their picture at the chalet (which does not survive in the Whitney archives), see Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun September 24, 1867, WCA MSS 4.144envelope-icon.

[180] Letters from Anne Whitney to her family, begun July 31, 1867, WCA MSS 4.139envelope-icon and begun August 17, 1867, WCA MSS 4.141envelope-icon. My thanks to Emily Mullin for researching the lammergeier, an Alpine bird of prey.

[181] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun July 21, 1867, WCA MSS 4.138envelope-icon. For further information, see also A Handbook for Travellers in Switzerland, xliv and lxvii–lxviii. The statistic regarding illegitimate children may have been a topic of conversation with the Shannons; see Letter from Mary C. Shannon to Sarah Whitney, July 21, 1867, WCA MSS 4.346envelope-icon.

[185] She stored it in the Beacon Hill studio she shared with Elizabeth Bartol, but was concerned that Bartol would need the space after plans to move it elsewhere fell through; see Letter from Sarah Whitney to Anne Whitney, begun March 13, 1867, WCA MSS 4.190envelope-icon.

[189] Beth A. Treadway, “The Doll and Richards Gallery,” Archives of American Art Journal 15, no. 1 (1975): 12. Whitney may have helped arrange this; Manning wrote to her from Brooklyn, “Why yes, Mr Doll may have my picture—I dont see how he is going to compensate himself for framing it, but that is his lookout, + I’ll not be inquisitive . . . Of course I’m delighted at Doll’s proposition; but didn’t like to seem too glad.” (Letter from Addy Manning to Anne Whitney, November 24, 1866, WCA MSS 4).

[190] Florentia, “A Walk Through the Studios of Rome,” Art Journal 1 (June 1854): 186; and Thayer Tolles, ed., American Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 1, A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born Before 1865 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999), 115–117.

[191] William H. Gerdts, American Neo-Classic Sculpture: The Marble Resurrection (New York: Studio, 1973), 69.

[194] Missing this mountain, one of the most famous of the Alpine range, was a disappointment to Whitney; see Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun July 21, 1867, WCA MSS 4.138envelope-icon.

[195] Letter from Mary C. Shannon to Sarah Whitney, January 6, 1868, WCA MSS 4.348envelope-icon. A Miss Gordon commissioned a copy of the drawing for $150, but the sale apparently fell through, together with her request for one of Whitney’s Cherub Windows; see Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun March 22, 1868, WCA MSS 4.153envelope-icon and Letter from Sarah Whitney to Anne Whitney, begun June 10, 1868, WCA MSS.4.236envelope-icon.

[200] Legal Records, Certificates of Copyright, box 18, Doll & Richards Gallery, 1863–1973, bulk 1902–1960s, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

[201] For the Whitney family’s knowledge of this site, see Letter from Sarah Whitney to Anne Whitney, begun September 22, 1867, WCA MSS 4.203envelope-icon.

[202] “The Maid of Mont Blanc,” Daily Eastern Argus, October 20, 1869, 3; and “Beautiful Picture,” Journal of Literature and Politics, 74, issue 83 (23 October 1869): 2.

[204] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun November 17, 1867, WCA MSS 4.148envelope-icon. Whitney reported that some 6,000 people had died of cholera in the city that summer, making it a particularly dangerous year. See Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun October 28, 1867, WCA MSS 4.147envelope-icon; and George Childs Kohn, ed., “Cholera Epidemic of 1866–67,” in Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence from Ancient Times to the Present (New York: Infobase Publishing, 2008), 197. My thanks to Katie Donlan for this reference.

[207] Comments about these events appear, for example, in Letters from Anne Whitney to her family, begun October 7, 1867, WCA MSS 4.145envelope-icon and begun October 28, 1867, WCA MSS 4.147envelope-icon. Edmonia Lewis witnessed the French entry (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun October 28, 1867, WCA MSS 4.147envelope-icon). For other accounts by Americans in Rome, see William James Stillman, The Union of Italy 1815–1895 (Cambridge: The University Press, 1899); and Howard R. Marraro, “Unpublished American Documents on Garibaldi’s March on Rome in 1867,” Journal of Modern History 16, no. 2 (June 1944): 116–123.

[209] Letters from Anne Whitney to her family, begun May 13, 1867, WCA MSS 4.134envelope-icon; and begun June 23, 1867, WCA MSS 4.136envelope-icon. Overbeck’s studio was located at via di San Nicola di Tolentino 72 in 1867, a popular building for artists; see A Handbook of Rome, xliv. The American copyist Emma Conant Church also had a studio in this building at the same time; see Musacchio, “Infesting.”

[211] Letter from Anne Whitney and Addy Manning to the Whitney family, begun June 23, 1867, WCA MSS 4.136envelope-icon. This building, the Palazzo Zuccari, is part of the Biblioteca Hertziana; for further information on its history and Whitney’s stay there, see Nancy J. Scott, “Dear Home: A Sculptor's View from Rome, 1867–71: The Unpublished Letters of Anne Whitney,” Sculpture Journal 17 (Spring 2008): 19–35. In a later letter Whitney further described the area; see Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun May 31, 1868, WCA MSS 4.157envelope-icon.

[212] Letter from Fidelia Bridges to Annie Brown, April 5 (no year given), box 9, Oliver Ingraham Lay, Charles Downing Lay, and Lay Family Papers, 1789–2000 bulk (ca. 1870s–1996), Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

[213] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun October 28, 1867, WCA MSS 4.147envelope-icon; for a recipe, see Mrs. J. H. Bradley, Mrs. Bradley’s Housekeeper’s Guide (Cincinnati: Queen City Publishing House, 1860), 29.

[215] Katharine C. Walker, “American Studios in Rome and Florence,” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine 33, no. 193 (June 1866): 103–104.

[233] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun April 17, 1868, WCA MSS 4.155envelope-icon; and begun April 30, 1868, WCA MSS 4.156envelope-icon. This discovery was reported in John D. Champlin Jr., “Antique Marbles,” Popular Science 11 (May 1877): 67–74.

[241] For a summary of Carnival events, see A Handbook of Rome, xxx. The 1868 events Whitney witnessed are also described in Huidekoper, Glimpses of Europe, 157–159; Urbino, American Woman in Europe, 224–225; and K., “Close of Carnival,” The New York Times, March 29, 1868, 9. Other years are referenced in Hans Christian Andersen, The Improvisatore: or, Life in Italy, trans. Mary Howitt (London: Richard Bentley, 1845); and George Stillman Hillard, Six Months in Italy (Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1853), 2:1–16, among other sources.

[245] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun April 17, 1868, WCA MSS 4.155envelope-icon. For criticism of the papacy’s oppressive tactics from an Episcopal chaplain in Rome, see C. M. Butler, Inner Rome: Political, Religious, and Social (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1866), 343; and from Bostonians of Whitney’s acquaintance, see Urbino, Glimpses of Europe, 219–220.

[246] Cortazzo, Journals and Letters, 65 and 119–120.

[247] After three months in Italy, she told her family that Italians were not to be trusted (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun July 1, 1867, WCA MSS 4.137envelope-icon). A year later, she still agreed with that assessment, but felt she could manage better (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun June 25, 1868, WCA MSS 4.158envelope-icon). Other travelers expressed a condescending affection; Alice Bartlett referred to them as “beloved, slippery Italians” (“Our Apartment,” 666).

[248] Reitzes, “The Political Voice,” 45–55.

[249] See Payne, “Art and Social Justice,” 47 and 59, as well as, for Le Modèle, Erica L. Hirschler et al., A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists in Boston, 1870–1940 (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 2001), 18–20.

[253] Letter from Anne Whitney to Sarah Whitney, begun April 30, 1868, WCA MSS.4.156envelope-icon; see also “Miss Hosmer and the Master of the Roman Hounds,” Evening Post, April 30, 1868, 2.

[254] See note 36; for the statue, see Elizabeth Milroy, “The Public Career of Emma Stebbins: Work in Bronze,” Archives of American Art Journal 34, no. 1 (1994): 2–14.

[259] Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun February 9, 1868, WCA MSS 4.151envelope-icon. By this date Lewis was working on her Forever Free group, as well as at least two groups based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Song of Hiawatha” (1855). Whitney was much more critical of Vinnie Ream’s sculpture; see note 127.

[261] For a typical artist’s day in Rome, albeit a male artist, see W. L. Alden, “A Day with the Painters,” The Galaxy 3 (1 February 1867): 309–315.

[262] There are occasional references to sketching; see, for example, note 178 and Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun October 17, 1868, WCA MSS 4.166 (“I cd. not have a studio anywhere in town so much to my advantage—just round that balustrade to the life of this picture is the French academy of the old Medician villa with beautiful grounds + lawns + there are quiet rooms filled with casts from all the best antiques + we have permits to go there and study or work all day long if we choose. I have been there nearly all day”).

[264] On this practice see V., “A Page of Life,”, 173–178; Mary K. McGuigan, “‘This Market of Physiognomy’: American Artists and Rome’s Art Academies, Life Schools, and Models, 1825–1870,” in America’s Rome: Artists in the Eternal City, 1800–1900, exh. cat., ed. Paul S. D’Ambrosio (Cooperstown, NY: Fenimore Art Museum, 2009), 39–69; and Musacchio, “Infesting.”

[265] On Pascuccia, see “Notes on Rome, Artistic and Social,” American Art Journal 5, no. 7 (June 7, 1866): 109.

[266] I have not found a complete list of the contents, but in addition to the Nelly May and the two cherub groups described here, the boxes also included a bust of Addy Manning (Letter from Anne Whitney to Addy Manning, February 24, 1867, WCA MSS 4.376envelope-icon); a photograph of the lost marble bust was taken in Rome, but the date is uncertain.

[269] Carol Zastoupil, “Creativity, Inspiration, and Scandal: Harriet Hosmer and Zenobia,” in The Italian Presence in American Art 1760–1860, ed. Irma B. Jaffe (New York: Fordham University Press, 1989), 195–207; and Culkin, Harriet Hosmer, 55–82. For the role of trained sculptors, see Rebecca Reynolds, “‘No Ordinary Hands:’ Hiram Powers’ Artistic and Professionally Related Family,” in Sculptors, Painters, and Italy: Italian Influence in Nineteenth-Century American Art, ed. Sirpa Salenius (Saonara: Il Prato, 2009), 53–66.

[272] She also left a Cherub Window at Hendrickson, Doll, & Richards in Boston, no doubt for the same reason, but by early November she asked Edward to retrieve it for himself; see Letter from Sarah Whitney to Anne Whitney, begun September 9, 1867, WCA MSS 4.202envelope-icon; and Letter from Carrie and Edward Whitney to Anne Whitney, begun February 4, 1868, WCA MSS 4.300envelope-icon.

[273] Letter from Mary C. Shannon to Sarah Whitney, begun January 6, 1868, WCA MSS 4.348envelope-icon and Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun February 9, 1868, WCA MSS 4.151envelope-icon. Many of Rinehart’s sculptures, like his Sleeping Children (modeled 1859), survive in multiple copies, attesting to their popularity; for another visit to his studio see Huidekoper, Glimpses of Europe, 184. My thanks to Dominique Ledoux for her examination of these groups.

[277] Letter from Sarah Whitney to Anne Whitney, begun March 13, 1867, WCA MSS 4.190envelope-icon. It did receive some attention while on exhibit; see “Literary and Artistic: Art in Boston,” Ladies Repository 37 (April 1867): 315.

[283] See, for example, the comment by her contemporary Huidekoper, who was in Rome with his family at this time and may have met Whitney (Huidekoper, Glimpses of Europe, 171–172). His daughter Emma lived, like Whitney, at the top of the Spanish Steps for part of 1867, and visited the studios of Hosmer, Foley, and the Misses Williams that December; see Cortazzo, Journals and Letters, 148.

[284] Walter Muir Whitehill, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: A Centennial History (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 1970), 1:31.

[287] A similar sentiment is repeated in Livermore, “Anne Whitney,” 678.

[289] She felt pressured to justify her stay when her sister questioned her extended absence: “What yr objection, my dear Sarah, may be to Roman dust, wh you wish to see me shake from my feet I don’t appreciate. It is certain that there is not another city on this earth wh gives so much (to me) for so little. Can I live in Boston for somewhat over 6 frs a day—the mere living— + have a studio for $12 a month with all the help that free galleries can give + the criticism of brother artists? I can’t hear a bridge defamed that has put forward all its arches + planks to bear me up so bravely. To be sure there is the travel in summer + the fact that here or there my labor has not arrived to be self-supporting but quite the reverse. Well—I shall keep on. To have work to do + to have a place near home to do it in is my first desire. Will Boston give me a quiet corner I wonder?” (Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun February 12, 1871, WCA MSS 4.10).

[292] Even experienced residents had trouble finding vermin-free lodging; see Letter from Anne Whitney to her family, begun June 25, 1868, WCA MSS 4.158envelope-icon.

[293] Alcott, Shawl Straps, 225.