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Alexander Graham Bell

Artist
Moses Wainer Dykaar, 1884 - 10 Mar 1933
Sitter
Alexander Graham Bell, 3 Mar 1847 - 2 Aug 1922
Date
1922
Type
Sculpture
Medium
Marble
Dimensions
Object w/ mount: 62.9 x 65.1 x 36.8cm (24 3/4 x 25 5/8 x 14 1/2")
Socle footprint: 65.1 x 36.8cm (25 5/8 x 14 1/2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; transfer from the Smithsonian American Art Museum; gift of David F. Dykaar, 1929
Object number
NPG.69.22
Exhibition Label
Scottish-born Alexander Graham Bell studied speech from an early age. While trying to improve the telegraph, Bell discovered that the voice could be transformed into electric current and transmitted over a wire. He exhibited his telephone at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, where the startled emperor of Brazil exclaimed, "I hear, I hear!" Bell's invention revolutionized communication, leading to the establishment of the Bell Telephone Company. Upon learning of the inventor's death, his friend and competitor Thomas Edison observed: "[he] brought the human family in closer touch."
Provenance
On loan from the artist and after his death in 1933, from his estate, 1926-1968; gift of artist’s son, David E. Dykaar to the National Collection of Fine Arts (now Smithsonian American Art Museum) 1968; transferred to NPG 1969
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
American Origins
On View
NPG, East Gallery 120