Vinnie Ream
American sculptor



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Vinnie Ream
American sculptor
Average: 5 (2 votes)

Date of Birth

September 25, 1847

Place of Birth

Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

Date of Death

November 20, 1914

Place of Death

Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

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ehowland's picture


Vinnie Ream, woman of my dreams.

I didn’t know who Lavinia “Vinnie” Ream was before I started research for this article, but now that I know her story, I’m pissed off! This woman was so talented and ambitious as a sculptor, and knew how to network like nobody’s business. The conventions of the time (i.e. she married an overbearing dude) worked against her, unfortunately, and her name lives in the shadow of those whom she sculpted. Vinnie is best known for creating a life-size statue of Abraham Lincoln that lives in the U.S. Capitol Building.

By the time she was 18, Vinnie was the first woman to be commissioned by the U.S. government for a statue! Hell yeah! How many of us can claim that we did anything that righteous when we were 18? It’s hard enough getting high school assignments in on time. Vinnie was well-known and fancied by some Washington D.C. politicians in her heyday; like, if she were a millennial, she would probably be Instagram famous for creating vaporwave collages with her own marble statues. Vinnie even traveled to Italy to have her Lincoln statue cut by master Italian marble workers. A heart-eyes emoji is definitely appropriate right now. In addition to the Lincoln statue, Vinnie sculpted other D.C. politicians and generals, the mythic poet Sappho, Cardinal Giocomo Antonelli, and the trailblazing Cherokee Sequoyah.

Vinnie eventually married a man named Richard Hoxie, though she had many men fawning after her throughout the years (heeeey, sexy lady). As luck would have it, Hoxie was very much a man of the times; one definitely wouldn’t see him wearing a pink pussy hat at the Women’s March. This was a period of frustration for Vinnie, and she lost many of her hot D.C. connections. A crying emoji is appropriate here.

Vinnie Ream contributed to the political conversation of national art in her time. She was an ambitious artist and political schmoozer felled by domestic life and the conventions of 19th century womanhood. But I know, and now so do you, that Vinnie Ream kicked major artistic butt.



  1. Architect of the Capitol. “Vinnie Ream.” Artists. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  2. Cooper, Edward S. Vinnie Ream: An American Sculptor. Chicago: Academy Chicago Publishers, 2004. ProQuest Ebook Central.
  3. Harper, Kimberly. “Vinnie Ream (1847-1914).” The State Historical Society of Missouri: Historic Missourians. Accessed May 8, 2019.
  4. Tomso, Gregory. “Lincoln’s Unfathomable Sorrow: Vinnie Ream, Sculptural Realism, and the Cultural Work of Sympathy in Nineteenth-Century America.” European Journal of American Studies 6, no. 2 (2011).

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Vinnie Ream

Lavinia Ellen "Vinnie" Ream Hoxie (September 25, 1847 – November 20, 1914) was an American sculptor. Her most famous work is the statue of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.

Early life

Lavinia Ellen Ream was born September 25, 1847, in Madison, Wisconsin. Her father, Robert, was a surveyor for the Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory and a Wisconsin Territory civil servant. Her mother was a McDonald of Scottish ancestry. Her brother Robert enlisted in the Confederate army, in Arkansas, serving in Woodruff's battery. Vinnie attended Christian College in Columbia, Missouri, now known as Columbia College. A portrait of Martha Washington by Ream hangs in St. Clair Hall.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Vinnie Ream.