Nelia Casella was part of a generation of female sculptors who rose to prominence at the start of the 20th century. Long seen as an art form reserved for men, sculpture became much more accessible around the turn of the century, thanks in part to the popularization of mediums such as clay and wax. During her career, Casella exhibited numerous wax and enameled glass works at the Royal Academy, and other arts and crafts exhibitions in and around London.
Though known more for sculpture, Casella’s works also included watercolors and illustrations. She collaborated with her fellow artist and sister Ella Casella on illustrations for works of children’s poetry, including Dreams, Dances, and Disappointments, by G.A. Konstam. A digitized copy of this work has been made available via the University of Florida’s Digital Collections.
In 1900, Casella completed illustrations of the fairy tale Cinderella to accompany a programmatic piece by Percy Pitt for piano, 4 hands. Sibley Library may be the only institution in the United States to hold a copy of this edition, but thanks to our current digitization project, it’s now available as a full-color scan.