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John Caldwell Calhoun

modeled 1836 Hiram Powers Born: Woodstock, Vermont 1805 Died: Florence, Italy 1873 plaster 24 1/8 x 18 3/8 x 13 7/8 in. (61.2 x 46.7 x 35.3 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson 1968.155.72 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 20B


Luce Center Quote

“He has a noble head, and his eyes seem to burn in their sockets with all the surpassing relentlessness and vigour of his soul.” Hiram Powers, 1835, in Richard P. Wunder, Hiram Powers, 1989-91

Luce Center Label

Hiram Powers modeled this bust of John Caldwell Calhoun shortly after the artist arrived in Washington. Senator Calhoun was recognized as one of the most important Southerners in Washington, having served as secretary of war and vice president, and Powers felt it would be beneficial to his career to do the portrait. The bust was so successful that the state of South Carolina raised the money for a full-length statue of Calhoun. The senator helped greatly in securing this commission for Powers, writing that the sculptor’s skill was “unsurpassed.”

Keywords

Dress - historic - classical dress

Occupation - political

Portrait male - Calhoun, John C. - bust

Study - sculpture model

sculpture

plaster

About Hiram Powers

Born: Woodstock, Vermont 1805 Died: Florence, Italy 1873

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Hiram Powers

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