Kitson was born in Brookline, Massachusetts to Cyrus W. and Anna H. Ruggles. As a young child she displayed artistic talent, but when her mother attempted to enroll her in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, she was informed that she was too young to be admitted. Her mother then approached other schools, which gave her the same advice. One of the school directors, however, suggested that she find a tutor for her and pointed her in the direction of a rising star, Henry Hudson Kitson.
She began studying with sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson in 1886, and married him in Boston in 1893 in the social event of the season. In the same year, she exhibited several sculptures at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She was one of only four female sculptors to be invited.
In 1888, she won honorable mention at the Salon des Artistes Francais, becoming the youngest woman, and the first American woman, ever to receive the honor. She was lionized when she returned to the United States for this award and was asked to comment on everything from the state of American art to men's fashions. In 1895 she was the first woman to be admitted to the National Sculpture Society.
In the early 1900s, she designed seventy-three sculptures now located at various sites within Vicksburg National Military Park. Predominantly busts and portrait reliefs honoring the general officers from both sides that fought there, Kitson is the most prolific of the artists represented there. The Massachusetts state monument, dedicated on November 14, 1903, was the first state monument to be placed and dedicated in the park.
After the Kitsons separated in 1909, she moved to Farmington, where she maintained a studio until her 1932 death in Boston, Massachusetts. Her work is featured on the Boston Women's Heritage Trail.
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