A well-known artist in her native Germany, Elisabet Ney traveled across Europe for 20 years sculpting portraits of political and intellectual leaders. In 1870, fleeing the Franco-Prussian War, Ney and her husband, physician and scientist Edmund Montgomery, emigrated to America. For nearly 20 years she set aside her work as an artist while raising their sons at Liendo Plantation, their home near Hempstead. Then in 1892, she built a studio in Austin and began to seek new commissions for her work. In Texas, Ney may be best known for creating the statues Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston, which now reside in the State Capitol. But one of her major works, a depiction of Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, resides at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art.
Formosa, now an Austin landmark and home of the Elizabet Ney Museum, preserves not just the works and sculpting tools of one of the 19th century’s premier sculptors, but also the landscape and memory of an artist who left her distinctive mark on Texas.
Elizabet Ney Museum