Henry Berger’s Bust of Humboldt

Meet the Artists of Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture

A bust of a man

Henry Berger, Bust of Humboldt, 1860, painted plaster, 27 x 16 x 12 1/2 in., The National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

About this Artwork

When Humboldt died in 1859, sculptor Henry Berger modeled a commemorative bust of Humboldt; this cast came to the Smithsonian, where it was installed in the Castle. It currently resides in the Botany Department library, a fitting place for the man whose vision of the “unity of nature” was based on his global study of plants and their environments.