2022 58¢ Edmonia Lewis
Value: 58¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: January 26, 2022
First Day City: Washington, DC
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Microprint
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 35,000,000
Mary Edmonia Lewis (c. July 4, 1844 – September 17, 1907) was an African Native American artist who specialized in sculpture. She was one of the only black female artists of her time and the first African American sculptor to be recognized for their work. She used her mixed heritage as inspiration for her sculptures throughout her life.
Lewis was born in Greenbush, New York, and spent the first few years of her life in different parts of the state. In her teen years, she attended preparatory school in Ohio, with just 29 other non-white students. When Lewis's schooling ended, she moved to Boston in 1864, where she began her career as a sculptor. However, she faced significant trouble finding someone to teach her. In fact, three male sculptors refused before Edward Agustus Brackett agreed to take her on as a student. Later that same year, Lewis struck out on her own and held her first exhibition.
Lewis sculpted a number of important abolitionists before deciding to move to Rome, Italy. There, she hoped to expand her skills and be among a greater community of artists. She experienced much more freedom in Italy and her scope of work grew tremendously. She explored her African American and Native American heritage. Lewis's works continue to inspire countless people to this day.