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Joseph Henry

ca. 1911 Herbert Adams Born: Concord, Vermont 1858 Died: New York, New York 1945 painted plaster 12 x 18 x 21 in. (30.4 x 45.7 x 53.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum acquisition XX1 Not currently on view

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Joseph Henry

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Joseph Henry was the grandson of Scottish immigrants and a self-made man who became a prominent scientist. The unit of electromagnetic induction is named the “henry” after him. In 1846, in recognition of his abilities as a scientist, professor, and leader, he was chosen to be the first secretary and director of the Smithsonian Institution. This plaster bust was cast from a full-size bronze in the Library of Congress. The larger statue is one of sixteen that encircle the rotunda, symbolizing different elements of human achievement. Henry represents man’s accomplishments in science.


Dress - ceremonial - academic dress

Portrait male - Henry, Joseph - bust