"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Vinnie Ream

This 1914 low relief portrait of sculptor Vinnie Ream by George Julian Zolnay, marks Vinnie Ream Hoxie’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery.

The inscription, a paraphrase of a line from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poem Insufficiency, reads:
Words That Would Praise Thee
Are Impotent
Vinnie Ream’s plaque adorns the front of an elaborate monument to her in Arlington National Cemetery. Her husband Richard L. Hoxie placed the monument there in 1914 and later had himself and his second wife Ruth N. Hoxie buried there too.

Richard L. Hoxie
Brigadier General U.S. Army

Beloved Wife
Ruth N. Hoxie

The monument is surmounted by a bronze cast of Vinnie Ream's  sculpture of Sappho.

Richard Hoxie gave the original marble statue to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and had this bronze copy cast for Vinnie's Grave.

Sculptor Vinnie Ream was famous for being young, beautiful and talented. She became the first woman to win a federal art commission when she used her friendship with General Rawlings to convince Lincoln to sit for her when she was 17 years old. The bust below allowed her to win the heated competition for a life sized statue of Lincoln that stands in the Capital.

George Caleb Bingham painted the same scene in 1910.

The Phrenological Society published this youthful image of Vinnie Ream in a Sept. 1869 article describing Ms. Ream from a phrenological point of view.

Portrait of Vinnie Ream, the Young Sculptor

Among other things the article remarks that “Her body is lithe, her brain large, and her mind intensely active.”

In 1878 Vinnie Ream was commissioned to sculpt the statue of Admiral Farragut which stands in Farragut Square.

 Vinnie Ream Sculptor

Also 1878, She married Richard L. Hoxie.

Here she's shown in her wedding dress, Admiral Farragut looking on from a painted backdrop.

The N.Y. Tribune published the photo below captioned "Vinnie Ream Hoxie of Today" on Feb. 11, 1912, two years before her death in 1914.

General Hoxie survived until 1949.

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