Hattie Anderson African American Model for Gold Coin 1906

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Hettie Anderson, born as Harriette Eugenia Dickerson in 1873 in Columbia, South Carolina, was an African-American art model and muse. She played a significant role in inspiring and collaborating with renowned sculptors and painters. Here are some highlights from her remarkable life:

-Model for Prominent Artists: Hettie posed for several distinguished artists, including:
Augustus Saint-Gaudens: He described her as “certainly the handsomest model I have ever seen of either sex” and considered her “Goddess-like.” She modeled for the winged Victory figure on the Sherman Memorial at Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan, New York City, as well as the iconic $20 gold coins known as the Saint-Gaudens double eagle1.
Daniel Chester French: Another acclaimed sculptor who captured her likeness.
John La Farge, Anders Zorn, Bela Pratt, Adolph Alexander Weinman, and Evelyn Beatrice Longman: Hettie’s beauty and grace inspired these artists in their creations.

Family Background: Hettie hailed from a family of free African-Americans. Her relatives were skilled professionals, including builders, painters, barbers, and seamstresses. Her uncle and aunt had escaped to Canada during the American Civil War. Over time, her family members became physicians, government workers, teachers, and civil rights activists.

Life in New York: By 1895, Hettie had moved to Manhattan. She trained and modeled at the Art Students League of New York and worked as a clerk and seamstress. Her power of posing patiently and thoroughly impressed artists like Saint-Gaudens. She graced various city and country studios, leaving an indelible mark on American art1.
Hettie Anderson’s legacy lives on through the masterpieces she helped create, embodying grace, strength, and beauty in the world of art.

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