Pictured here is “Formosa” once the home and studio of European portrait sculptress, Elisabet Ney. It is now the Elisabet Ney Museum located in the Hyde Park section of Austin, TX.
At the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War, Elisabet emigrated with her Scottish physician husband to United States (1870) from her native Germany. By that time, she had already established herself as a sculptress of the Who’s Who of 19th century Germany and beyond. They lived with friends in Thomasville, Georgia for two years after which they moved to Hempstead, TX buying the Liendo Plantation. After several years of experiencing financial losses there, they moved to Austin. Elisabet had her studio built by the Waller River and it was there that she re-established herself as sculptress and portrait artist of such notables as Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston. Local intelligentsia would gather regularly to discuss philosophy, politics, and the arts at “Miss Ney’s” studio/home.
A true individualist, Elisabet Ney was one of the first women to attend the Munich Academy’s School of Sculpture. She insisted on designing her own clothes and digging the clay which she used in her craft. Can you imagine — she even rode astride her horse — no side saddle for her!!
Elisabet Ney (1833-1907)