Fuller, Meta Warrick (1877–1968)

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Fuller, Meta Warrick (1877–1968)

African-American artist. Born Meta Vaux Warrick, June 9, 1877, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; died Mar 13, 1968, in Framingham, Massachusetts; dau. of William and Emma Warrick; attended Pennsylvania School of Industrial Arts, 1899; studied 3 years at Academie Colarossi, Paris, and école des Beaux-Arts, Paris, beginning 1899; received instruction from Charles Grafly, Rodin, Gauqui, Rollard, and Raphael Collin in Paris; exhibited several works at L'Art Nouveau, a Paris gallery; attended Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1907; m. Liberian-born Solomon Fuller (neurologist and psychologist), 1909; children: 3 sons.

Prolific sculptor and illustrator of the Harlem Renaissance, known for sculptures symbolizing the aspirations of African-Americans as well as works depicting human suffering; exhibited at Paris Salon (1898, 1899, 1903); commissioned to sculpt 150 black figures (called The Progress of the Negro in America) for the Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition (1907); saw most of her early sculpture destroyed in a fire in a Philadelphia warehouse (1910); exhibited life-size work, Awakening Ethiopia, at the New York Making of America Exposition (1922); invited by W.E.B. Du Bois to sculpt a piece for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, held in New York (1931); remained active in Boston art circles (1930s); lived and worked at her home in Framingham, Massachusetts, where she also taught students (1929–68); career spanned nearly 9 decades; sculptures include Crucifixion of Christ in Agony (c. 1894), The Wretched and Man Carrying a Dead Comrade (1899–1902), John the Baptist (1899), Head of Medusa (1903), Emancipation Group (1913), Water Boy (1914), Peace Halting the Ruthlessness of War (1917), The Talking Skull (1937), The Madonna of Consolation (1961), The Statue of Jesus on the Cross (1962), The Refugee (1964) and Bust of Charlotte Hawkins Brown (1965).

See also Women in World History.