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Hiram Powers

after 1866 Attributed to Longworth Powers Born: Cincinnati, Ohio 1835 Died: Florence, Italy 1904 plaster 23 5/8 x 19 x 9 1/2 in. (60.0 x 48.2 x 24.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson 1968.155.33 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 17A


Luce Center Label

Hiram Powers’s eldest son, Longworth, did not have an easy time establishing a career. After his termination from West Point, he enrolled at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, only to abandon his studies before completing his degree. He then traveled to Florence to try his hand at sculpture, but ultimately decided that portrait photography was his true interest. Hiram gave his son a pushcart so that he could peddle his work through the streets of Florence. This portrait of his father has an unfinished quality about it that resonates with Longworth’s earlier tendencies to abandon projects before completion. The fingerprints still visible on the torso reveal the effort that went into the modeling.

Keywords

Occupation - art - sculptor

Portrait male - Powers, Hiram

Portrait male - Powers, Hiram - bust

Portrait male - Powers, Hiram - nude

sculpture

plaster

cast