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Horatio Greenough

modeled 1838 Hiram Powers Born: Woodstock, Vermont 1805 Died: Florence, Italy 1873 plaster 21 3/8 x 14 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. (54.2 x 36.2 x 26.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson 1968.155.42 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 20B


Luce Center Quote

“Mr. Powers . . . is making an admirable bust of me.” Greenough, quoted in Letters of Horatio Greenough to His Brother, Henry Greenough, 1887

Luce Center Label

Hiram Powers met the American sculptor Horatio Greenough in 1836, shortly before Greenough settled in Florence, Italy, with his wife. The two men became close friends, and in 1838, Powers modeled this bust of the thirty-three-year-old artist. As a child, Greenough had experimented with sculpture in alabaster and clay until a local stonecutter taught him how to carve in marble. But his father opposed a career in art, and Greenough attended Harvard for four years before he was able to travel to Rome to study sculpture. In 1832 he became one of the first American artists to receive a national commission when Congress asked him to create a sculpture of George Washington for the United States Capitol. The statue is now in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Greenough must have been an inspiration to Powers, who was the same age and following a similar career path, and in this bust the strong features and confident expression evoke a young, successful man who was proud of his early achievements.

Keywords

Occupation - art - sculptor

Portrait male - Greenough, Horatio - bust

Portrait male - Greenough, Horatio - nude

Study - sculpture model

sculpture

plaster

About Hiram Powers

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

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