Foley, Margaret (c. 1827–1877)

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Foley, Margaret (c. 1827–1877)

American sculptor. Born around 1827; died in Merano in 1877; grew up in rural Vergennes, Vermont.

Margaret Foley whittled and carved as a young girl in Vergennes, Vermont. She then worked in a textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, before moving to Boston in 1848 where she specialized in cameo portraits. In 1860, Foley immigrated to Rome and began to work on larger marble medallion portraits; one of her sitters was William Cullen Bryant. Despite a neurological disorder, she won international recognition; her marble fountain base, supported by three children, was unveiled at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition; it now resides in Horticulture Center, West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.

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