Emma Eyles Sangernebo

female 1877-1969
19th/20th Century
Life city:
Indianapolis, IN
Work city:
Indianapolis, IN
W. Forsyth
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Emma Eyles Sangernebo was born in 1877 in Pittsburgh, PA. While visiting Indianapolis, she met Alexander Sangernebo, a prominent terra cotta sculptor and designer. The two married in 1899 and, shortly afterward, Emma began studying at the John Herron Art Institute with William Forsyth, Clifton Wheeler, and Otto Stark. Emma soon established herself as an accomplished portrait painter and architectural sculptor. She began publicly showing her paintings in 1922 in her downtown Indianapolis studio, adding her sculptural artwork to these regular shows in 1927. After her husband died unexpectedly in 1930, Emma focused even more on her professional work, spurred on by the financial need to secure more commissions. She began to receive greater public recognition and garnered critical praise for her nuanced handling of her subjects' physicality. Over the years, Emma took on larger-scale mural and architectural projects for some of the most prominent buildings in Indianapolis, including the statehouse rotunda, the Murat Temple, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, the Columbia Club, and the Indiana Memorial Union at Indiana University in Bloomington. Source: Skirting the Issue, by Newman and Weiss


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