Preston Powers

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Preston Powers
Born 1843
Florence, Italy
Died 1931
Florence, Italy
Known for American sculptor, painter, and teacher
Notable work(s) statue "The Closing of an Era" at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver
"The Closing of an Era", Colorado State Capitol, Denver

Preston Powers (1843 – 1931) American sculptor, painter, and teacher, born in Florence, Italy. He is also known as William Preston Powers.[1]

Biography[edit]

Powers studied with his father, Hiram Powers, a well known Neo-classical sculptor [2] and expatriate who lived in Italy. After returning to the United States, the younger Powers worked as an artist in Boston Massachusetts, Washington D.C. and Portland Maine.[3] Powers eventually became his father's personal secretary, a position he held until Hiram Powers' death in 1873. Preston sued his mother for inadequate support after the details of his father's will became known, as it declared his widow as sole heir. In order to keep peace within the family, Preston Powers was made the supervisor of Hiram Powers' studio-workshop, which eventually closed in 1877. He later operated his own studio across the street from his mother's house but insisted on harassing her with additional lawsuits.[4] Preston Powers died penniless in Florence, Italy, and was buried in the pauper's section of the Allori Protestant Cemetery located outside the city.[5][6]

Work[edit]

Powers' statue "The Closing of an Era" at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver depicts an American Indian in triumph over a fallen bison. The granite for the statue came from Fremont County, Colorado. The sculpture was completed for the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Powers' friend John Greenleaf Whittier wrote the poem inscribed at the base of the monument.[7]

Preston Powers sculpted several portrait busts; some of his most notable creations include:[8]

He is best remembered for his portraits.[citation needed] His students include Alice Cooper and Elsie Ward.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Preston Powers.' American Art Museum Collections, Smithsonian Institution. [1], Accessed October 25, 2013
  2. ^ Mackay, James, The Dictionary of Sculptors in Bronze, Antique Collectors Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk 1977
  3. ^ Opitz, Glenn B , Editor, Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, Apollo Book, Poughkeepsie NY, 1986
  4. ^ Wunder, Richard P. 1991. Hiram Powers:Life, Volume 1. University of Delaware Press, p. 20
  5. ^ 'Preston Powers.' American Art Museum Collections, Smithsonian Institution. [2], Accessed October 25, 2013
  6. ^ Wunder, Richard P. 1991. Hiram Powers:Life, Volume 1. University of Delaware Press, p. 20
  7. ^ "Closing Era statue". Public Art Around the World. Retrieved March 27, 2010. 
  8. ^ 'Art and Artists.' 1883, May 25. In Daily Evening Transcript, Boston, Massachusetts