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Senator William Campbell Preston

modeled 1837 Hiram Powers Born: Woodstock, Vermont 1805 Died: Florence, Italy 1873 plaster 26 7/8 x 23 7/8 x 12 1/4 in. (68.3 x 60.6 x 31.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson 1968.155.9 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 17B

Luce Center Quote

“Your talent and industry cannot fail to achieve the highest rewards of art. I am exceedingly of the opinion that you should hasten to Europe and the world . . . for I fear that your name may become fixed before you have had the inspiration of the antique.” Senator Preston, 1837, in Richard P. Wunder, Hiram Powers, 1989-91

Luce Center Label

William Campbell Preston was the elder brother of John S. Preston, who funded Hiram Powers’s move to Italy in 1837. The Preston brothers became significant patrons of the artist during his time in Washington, commissioning portraits and introducing him to prominent men in the city. Senator Preston and his wife ordered marble replicas of their portraits to be completed after Powers reached Italy, giving the artist some guaranteed income after his departure from America.


Dress - historic - classical dress

Occupation - political - senator

Portrait male - Preston, William Campbell - bust

Study - sculpture model



About Hiram Powers

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

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Hiram Powers

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