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Priscilla

after 1860 Longworth Powers Born: Cincinnati, Ohio 1835 Died: Florence, Italy 1904 plaster 18 7/8 x 12 1/4 x 6 7/8 in. (48.0 x 31.1 x 17.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson 1968.155.100 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 20A


Luce Center Label

This sculpture shows the character Priscilla from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s long narrative poem The Courtship of Miles Standish. Longworth Powers may have been inspired to create this sculpture by his father, Hiram, who carved two portraits of Longfellow in the late 1860s. The poem, first published in 1858, tells a story of love and foolishness among three characters: Priscilla Mullins, Miles Standish, and John Alden. John marries Priscilla, after first trying to court her on behalf of Standish. The poet describes Priscilla as a “puritan maiden” who speaks her mind to Alden, and in this piece Powers captured her confident expression as she listens to the young man’s declarations.

Keywords

Figure female - bust

Literature - Longfellow - Priscilla

Portrait female - unidentified - Priscilla

sculpture

plaster

About Longworth Powers

Born: Cincinnati, Ohio 1835 Died: Florence, Italy 1904

More works in the collection by
Longworth Powers