Hiram Powers papers, 1819-1953, bulk 1835-1883.


Powers, Hiram, 1805-1873. Hiram Powers papers, 1819-1953, bulk 1835-1883.

Hiram Powers papers, 1819-1953, bulk 1835-1883.

The papers of sculptor Hiram Powers measure 12.2 linear feet and date from 1819 to 1953, with the bulk of the material dating from 1835 to 1883. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence, which is particularly rich in documenting his artwork, methodology, and his interaction with business associates, purchasers of his artwork, and his numerous friends in the United States and Florence, Italy. Other papers include scattered biographical material, writings by Powers and others, financial and legal records, news clippings and printed items, photographs of Powers, his family, artwork, as well as an extensive collection of carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of many notable figures. Also found is a small amount of artwork by Powers and others, a scrapbook, and two autograph and memorabilia albums. Biographical material consists of documents for honors conferred on Powers, price lists and inventories of his artwork, papers regarding his death, including a translation of his will, and ephemera, such as his studio cap. The bulk of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence with family, friends, business associates, and others, documenting his career as an artist and his personal life after he and his family moved to Florence, Italy, in 1837. Almost all of the letters have typed unconfirmed transcriptions completed by volunteers at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Besides details of his studio work and business dealings, his letters often discuss his views on aesthetics, American politics, slavery and the Civil War, and Spiritualism. Notable correspondence is with William B. Astor, Edward Everett, Samuel York Atlee, William and E. Clementine Kinney, George P. Marsh, George Peabody, Presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, William Cullen Bryant, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, John C. Calhoun, Thomas Crawford, John A. Dix, Asher Durand, Charles Francis Fuller, Henry Peters Gray, Horace Greeley, George P. A. Healy, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Samuel F. B. Morse, W. W. Story, John Sartain, Frances Trollope, and Daniel Webster. Writings by Powers include his "Studio Memorandum," a journal-type notebook he kept from 1841 to 1845, which contains dated notations of letters written, receipts and expenditures, business contacts, works in progress, commissions and price quotations for work, comments on problems encountered during studio work, and other notes. Additional writings include poetry and autobiographical essays and instructions for handling his sculptures. Writings by others include poetry, most of which was written in praise of Powers' artwork. Of note are handwritten transcripts of poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Bayard Taylor, and John Quincy Adams. Also found here are short writings about Powers and his artwork. Scattered financial and legal records in this collection include patent documents for tools invented by Powers, legal agreements, account statements, and bills and receipts. Printed material consists of news clippings, two booklets, an art association brochure, and an exhibition catalog for works by Powers. This collection contains photographs of Hiram Powers, his family, friends, notable public figures, and artwork. Many of the photographs were taken by his son, Longworth Powers, who had a private photography studio in Florence. Included are portraits of Powers and his family, as well as a collection of 267 carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of artists, performers, politicians, writers, scientists, and other public figures, many of whom were friends with the Powers family. Other photographs depict Woodstock, Vermont, the marble quarry at Carrara, Italy, and artwork by Hiram and Preston Powers. Also found here is a photograph album kept by Louisa Powers. Artwork consists of three drawings by Hiram Powers, including a caricature of Miner Kellogg. Also found in this collection is a scrapbook containing news clippings regarding the American tour of the sculpture Greek Slave, an autograph album belonging to Louisa Powers, and an album containing pencil drawings by Preston Powers and dried flowers collected on travels.

12.2 linear ft.

Related Entities

There are 29 Entities related to this resource.

Crawford, Thomas, 1813 or 1814-1857

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6bv7p2c (person)

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Fuller, Charles Francis.

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6n61ss0 (person)

Kinney, William Light

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http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6z03kq3 (person)

Durand, A. B. (Asher Brown), 1796-1886

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6s184qd (person)

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Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852

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Story, William Wetmore, 1819-1895

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Healy, G. P. A. (George Peter Alexander), 1813-1894

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Atlee, Samuel Yorke, 1809-

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Powers, Preston, 1842 or 1843-1904

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w60k2kcd (person)

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Trollope, Francis

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w63j6k85 (person)

Powers, Hiram, 1805-1873

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6w66mgz (person)

American sculptor. From the description of Horatio Nelson Powers letter to the Rev. W. Ware [manuscript], no year August 12. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647997942 From the description of Autograph letters signed (2) : Florence, to Bayard Taylor, 1845 Oct. 9 and 1846 Feb. 18. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270618884 Sculptor; United States and Italy. From the description of Hiram Powers letters, 1852 Apr. 4-Dec. 30. (Unknown). WorldCat r...

Sartain, John, 1808-1897

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Astor, William B. (William Backhouse), 1792-1875

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Capitalist, son of John Jacob Astor, and nominal head of the American Fur Company prior to his father's exit from the business in 1834. From the description of Letter : New York, [N.Y.], to James Abbott, Detroit, [Mich.], 1832 July 13. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 36145298 William B. Astor went into business with his father, John Jacob Astor, and successfully invested in real estate and railroad, coal, and insurance companies. Samuel Jones...

Gray, Henry Peters, 1819-1877

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w65q6jdw (person)

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 1806-1861

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6r89482 (person)

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was an English poet and translator. Born on March 6, 1806, Barrett Browning became proficient in Greek, Latin, French, and other European languages. At the age of eleven she wrote a verse "epic" in four books of rhyming couplets, "The Battle of Marathon," which was privately printed in 1820 at her father's expense. She went on to write such works as "An essay on mind," "Sonnets from the Portuguese," and "Aurora Leigh." In September of 1846, she secretly marr...

Everett, Edward, 1794-1865

http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6v69h42 (person)

U.S. senator and representative, from Massachusetts; president of Harvard (1846-1849); Secretary of State (1852-1853). From the description of Autograph letter signed from Edward Everett to R.M.T. Hunter, 1853 Feb. 25. (Maine Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 123410779 American educator and statesman. From the description of ALsS : to Gulian C. Verplanck, 1830-1857. (Rosenbach Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86156129 Everett was...