Milwaukee Art Museum, Acquisition

Margaret Foley (American, c. 1827-1877), Jenny Lind (1820-1887), c. 1866-69

Ben Elwes Fine Art is delighted to announce the acquisition of Margaret Foley's striking marble relief Portrait of Jenny Lind (1820-1887), c. 1866-69, by Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin. This is one of seven works by women artists that Ben Elwes Fine Art has recently sold to major museums, assuring that their place in art history is more greatly appreciated.

Originally from a modest, remote farming community in northern Vermont, Foley worked in the textile mills in New England, in her spare time she learned to carve in lava and shell. She went on to establish a successful international career as a member of the group of American female sculptors in Rome in the latter half of the nineteenth century referred to by Henry James as 'the white marmorean flock'.

Known as the 'Swedish Nightingale', Jenny Lind was an international sensation akin to a modern-day celebrity and was one of the many literary and cultural figures who visited Rome and were sculpted by Foley. In 1882 Jenny Lind became the first Professor of Singing at the newly-formed Royal College of Music. The Jenny Lind Memorial, 1894 is at Westminster Abbey. Her career is immortalised in the recent popular Oscar-nominated 2018 film The Greatest Showman.

Ben Elwes Fine Art will offer a number of works by women artists working across two centuries in this Summer's Digital London Art Week, 3-10 July, 2020.