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Harriet Hosmer

  • My second winter in Rome was rendered memorable by my introduction to the Brownings ... how often did I climb the cold, cheerless, stone stairway which led to their modest apartment on the third floor in the Bocca di Leone. Nothing cold or cheerless, however, when their door was gained. ... few had heard their names. But what cared those great spirits for the outer world? They lived in a world of their own, happiest when alone therein.

    • Harriet Hosmer,
    • in Lilian Whiting, Women Who Have Ennobled Life ()
  • Even if so inclined, an artist has no business to marry. For a man, it may be well enough, but for a woman, on whom matrimonial duties and cares weigh more heavily, it is a moral wrong, I think, for she must either neglect her profession or her family, becoming neither a good wife and mother nor a good artist. My ambition is to become the latter, so I wage eternal feud with the consolidating knot.

    • Harriet Hosmer,
    • in Cornelia Carr, ed., Harriet Hosmer: Letters and Memories ()
  • [On leaving the U.S. for Italy:] I ought to be accomplishing thrice as much as now, and feel that I am soul-bound and thought-bound in this land of dollars and cents.

    • Harriet Hosmer,
    • in Cornelia Carr, ed., Harriet Hosmer: Letters and Memories ()
  • Words are cold and formal things.

    • Harriet Hosmer,
    • in Cornelia Carr, ed., Harriet Hosmer: Letters and Memories ()
  • ... I am moved to say a word in favor of sculpture being a far higher art than painting. There is something in the purity of the marble, in the perfect calmness, if one may say so, of a beautiful statue, which cannot be found in painting. ... People talk of the want of expression in marble, when it is capable of a thousand times more than canvas. ... I grant that the painter must be as scientific as the sculptor, and in general must possess a greater variety of knowledge, and what he produces is more easily understood by the mass, because what they see on canvas is most frequently to be observed in nature. In high sculpture it is not so. A great thought must be embodied in a great manner, and such greatness is not to find its counterpart in everyday things.

    • Harriet Hosmer,
    • in Cornelia Carr, ed., Harriet Hosmer: Letters and Memories ()
  • A pun, like champagne, loses its sparkle when too long drawn out. Its flash is its savor.

    • Harriet Hosmer,
    • in Cornelia Carr, ed., Harriet Hosmer: Letters and Memories ()
  • We do not claim that punning is legitimate wit. Wit consists in combination of ideas, punning in combination of words only. We wonder at the one, but we laugh at the drollery of the other — as the world goes a pun is regarded as an imponderable commodity, all know the rank it holds in the order of pure intellect.

    • Harriet Hosmer,
    • in Cornelia Carr, ed., Harriet Hosmer: Letters and Memories ()
  • [After borrowing four stamps:] Alas! I've justly earned a name / Which most the honest dread, / Four times convicted to my shame, / Under a separate head. / With others' goods and chattels, I / Feloniously decamped, / And by that act, cannot deny, / My character is stamped. / But what is worse, from near and far / The fatal truth is spread; / Such things stick fast to one, and are / As soon as published read. / But yet the little I can do, I haste to do, my friend, / For fourpence I received from you, / And four puns here I send.

    • Harriet Hosmer,
    • in Cornelia Carr, ed., Harriet Hosmer: Letters and Memories ()

Harriet Hosmer, U.S. sculptor

(1830 - 1908)

Full name: Harriet Goodhue Hosmer