The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917 Page: 308

The Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Elisabet Ney, Scuptor. By Bride Neill Taylor. New York: The
Devin-Adair Co. [1916.] Pp. 144.
Elisabet Ney was born at Miinster, the capital of the Kingdom
of Westphalia, in 1834. Before she was fifteen she had determined
to become a sculptor, and at eighteen, after overcoming the vio-
lent opposition of her mother and family and over-riding the help-
less protest of bewildered teachers, she entered the Munich Acad-
,emy of Art. Two years later she was at Berlin, studying under
Christian Rauch. Before she was thirty she had executed important
commissions for the governments of Prussia, Bavaria, and Han-
over and had finished, besides a number of idealistic figures, statues
of many notables of her time. In 1865 she married Dr. Edmund
Montgomery, a noted scientist and philosopher. For five years
longer she continued her brilliant work at Munich; and then, un-
der the influence of one of those aberrations to which the artistic
genius seems subject, she and Dr. Montgomery came to America
and settled in Georgia to try out some impractical socialistic dream.
This was at the close of 1870. A short time later they bought the
,old Groce plantation, Liendo, near Hempstead, Texas; and for
twenty years Miss Ney, so far as her art was concerned, might as
well have been dead and buried. Some of these years-the earlier
,ones-she spent, unconscious of her human environment, happily
absorbed in rearing her son; the others she must have spent eating
her heart out in grief and disappointment at what seemed to be
the failure of her life.
In 1893, nearly sixty years of age, she was engaged to make
statues of Stephen F. Austin and Sam. Houston for the Texas
building at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Competent
critics recognized these as the work of a great artist. From this
time she maintained a studio at Austin. Through the efforts of
the Daughters of the Republic, the Legislature was induced to
buy the statues of Houston and Austin which now stand in the
capitol; the Daughters of the Confederacy engaged her to make
-a statue of Albert Sidney Johnston, and she made busts of many
prominent Texans and executed a conception of Lady Macbeth


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917, periodical, 1917; Austin, Texas. ( accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.