Fisher Boy

  • Hiram Powers, Fisher Boy, modeled 1844, plaster, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson, 1968.155.3

Luce Center Label

Hiram Powers started work on Fisher Boy in 1843, when the model for Greek Slave was almost complete. He was probably inspired by the statue Girl Holding a Shell to Her Ear, by German sculptor Carl Steinhauser, which was described as “a young girl listening to the sound of a shell.” The child in Fisher Boy stands on a beach with his ear to a conch shell, leaning on the tiller of a boat. The delicate facial features and relaxed pose evoke ancient Greek sculpture, which often depicted young men on the threshold of puberty.

Luce Object Quote

“He fears an approaching storm, a superstition that the sound of the conch denotes the state of the sea.” Hiram Powers, 1852, in Richard P. Wunder, Hiram Powers, 1989-91

Fisher Boy
modeled 1844
On View
46 x 15 1/8 x 11 3/4 in. (116.7 x 38.4 x 29.8 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson

  • Study – sculpture model
  • Figure male – full length
  • Recreation – sport and play – fishing
  • Figure male – nude
  • Figure male – child
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI