James Gibson Powers

  • Hiram Powers, James Gibson Powers, modeled ca. 1838?, plaster, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson, 1968.155.110

Execution Date

“. . . he died so calmly, that we hardly knew when his little spirit breathed itself away.” Hiram Powers, 1838, in Richard P. Wunder, Hiram Powers, 1989-91

Luce Center Label

James (Jimmy) Gibson Powers was Hiram Powers’s first child. He died from a brain tumor in 1838, when he was only four years old. Shortly after the boy died, Powers took a cast of his son’s face to preserve his likeness and perhaps use as a model for a bust. Some of the child’s eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair are embedded in the plaster, making the tragedy of his death real to viewers of this piece more than a century later.

Title
James Gibson Powers
Artist
Date
modeled ca. 1838?
On View
Dimensions
11 1/4 x 6 1/4 x 5 5/8 in. (28.7 x 16.0 x 14.4 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums
Mediums Description
plaster
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait male – Powers, James Gibson – child
  • Portrait male – Powers, James Gibson – head
  • Study – sculpture model
Object Number
1968.155.110
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI
Audio

James Gibson Powers
modeled about 1838, plaster

HIRAM POWERS
Born: Decatur, Indiana 1906– Died: Albany, New York 1965

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