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President Andrew Jackson

modeled 1835 Hiram Powers Born: Woodstock, Vermont 1805 Died: Florence, Italy 1873 plaster 28 3/8 x 23 3/8 x 16 1/8 in. (72.1 x 59.3 x 40.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson 1968.155.58 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, East Wing


Gallery Label

Powers portrayed President Jackson in a Greek toga, but showed his rugged features faithfully, reflecting both the fashion for classical sculpture and the American taste for an authentic likeness. He worried that Jackson looked as though he “had put his teeth aside,” but was proud to have captured the hero’s “firmness and inflexibility of character.” Jackson sat patiently for his portrait, chatting with Powers and smoking a pipe that he later gave to the sculptor as a souvenir. In 1835, when this portrait was modeled, Jackson was planning to transform Washington from a swampy town to an impressive, neoclassical capital that would reflect the nation’s ambitions. The very next year, the President laid the cornerstone for the Patent Office Building in which this sculpture appears today.

Keywords

Occupation - political - president

Portrait male - Jackson, Andrew - 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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