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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Sculpture: 19th century: Anna Hazard Barker Ward
Anna Hazard Barker Ward


Anna Hazard Barker Ward
modeled 1837-38
Hiram Powers
plaster
24 5/8 x 18 7/8 x 11 3/4 in. (62.6 x 47.9 x 29.9 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson
1968.155.35

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“The bust [of Anna Barker] has been quite a favorite in my studio and I know not how often I have had to answer inquiries about the original of it. Some have preferred it to my ideal busts.” Hiram Powers, 1844, in Richard P. Wunder, Hiram Powers, 1989-91


In 1837, Boston-born Anna Hazard Barker toured Europe with friends. While there, she met her future husband Samuel Gray Ward, who worked for a British banking firm. When she visited Hiram Powers’s studio in Florence, he offered to model her portrait free of charge. He was still working on this when Anna returned to America, and so he asked her to have a cast taken of her face and sent to him for reference. Powers felt that her features embodied the essence of womanhood, and her portrait was the inspiration for his first ideal bust. The artist’s second daughter was born while he was working on this piece, and named Anna Barker Powers in honor of Powers’s friendship with Mrs. Ward.

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