Salem to Rome: William Wetmore Story, Louisa Lander, Sophia and Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sculptural Controversy

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May 2 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


May 2
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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During the 1850s, American artists and writers formed a community in Rome. Among them  were Salem-born William Wetmore Story, Louisa Lander, and Sophia and Nathaniel  Hawthorne. Story had abandoned his distinguished career as a Boston attorney to become a  prolific sculptor. In his Cleopatra and Libyan Sybil, he sculpted strong, sensuous, controversial  women and earned international acclaim. Louisa Lander had just begun her career as a sculptor  when she met the Hawthornes in Rome. Her provocative marble bust of Nathaniel became a  source of scandal and gossip abroad and at home in Salem. 

About the Presenter: Patricia Dunlavy Valenti is Professor Emerita in the Department of English  and Foreign Languages at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She specializes in  women’s studies, biography, and 19th-century literature and is author of five books including  biographies of Rose Hawthorne Lathrop and Sophia Peabody Hawthorne. Her current project  centers on American expatriates in Rome during the 1850s.