Anne Whitney and Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson Dealt with Men on Pedestals

My first post about women artists represented on Public Art Walk Boston included art by both Anne Whitney and Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson on Commonwealth Avenue Mall. That was in March 2017. Now almost a year later, I will wrap up the promised project with their additional art.


Both Whitney (1821—1915) and Kitson (1871—1932) were successful productive sculptors. Both also faced and dealt with challenges related to being women.

Samuel Adams by Anne Whitney


[Photo captions quote from Wikipedia biography of Anne Whitney]

“This bronze sculpture is based on an earlier marble version, which Anne Whitney created for the Capitol building in Washington, DC. The City of Boston then requested a replica to be placed in front of Faneuil Hall, where Adams participated in town meetings to discuss British taxation and occupation. Despite the success of this commission, Whitney was barred from sculpting another male figure only a few years later (see Charles Sumner*).”[quote from Public Art Walk Boston]

Tadeusz Kościuszko by Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson


[Photo captions quote from Public Art Walk Boston. ]

“Theodora Alice Ruggles Kitson preferred to be known as Theo. Kitson, or T.A.R. Kitson, at least professionally. She was not alone in choosing a masculine-sounding name, for in the 19th century this was an advantage for a woman whose work was in the public eye.” (quote from Carolyn Wirth in 69 Memorials and a Hiker)

For valuable context about women sculptors of the times when Whitney and Kitson worked, read The Enigma of American Women Sculptors and other posts by Carolyn Wirth on her site To Work as a Sculptor, a truly significant resource for me.


Theo Alice Ruggles Kitson (January 29, 1871 – October 29, 1932)

Anne Whitney (September 2, 1821 – January 23, 1915)

The Enigma of American Women Sculptors, to work as a sculptor, a studio journal by Carolyn Wirth

69 Memorials and a Hiker, to work as a sculptor, a studio journal by Carolyn Wirth

Salute to Women Artists along Commonwealth Avenue Mall 

Boston Public Art Walk:  Samuel Adams 

Boston Public Art Walk: Tadeusz Kosciuszko

Boston Public Art Walk: Charles Sumner

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