Longman, Evelyn Beatrice (1874–1954)

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Longman, Evelyn Beatrice (1874–1954)

American sculptor. Born Mary Evelyn Beatrice Longman in a log cabin on a farm near Winchester, Ohio, in 1874; died on Cape Cod at age 80 in March 1954; one of six children of a farmer; studied at the Art Institute, Chicago; married Nathaniel Horton Batchelder (headmaster of the Loomis School in Windsor, Connecticut), in 1920.

From age 14 to 20, Evelyn Longman supported herself by day working for a wholesaler while studying at night at the Chicago Art Institute; she eventually graduated with honors. From 1901, Longman worked in New York as assistant to the popular sculptor Daniel Chester French, who had sculpted the seated Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Her first important piece was a male statue, Victory, shown in the Festival Hall at the St. Louis Exposition (1904), for which she was awarded a silver medal. (A replica now resides in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.) In 1906, she won the $20,000 competition to create the bronze doors of the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel of Annapolis. These doors, executed in low relief, are remarkable for their beauty of line and balance of composition. A second pair of doors was designed for Wellesley College. In addition to her Spanish War Memorial in Hartford, Connecticut, and other statues, Longman produced a number of fine portrait busts, including that of Alice Freeman Palmer for the American Hall of Fame. She was the only sculptor that Thomas Edison posed for and the first woman sculptor to be elected a full member of the National Academy of Design.