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Hiram Powers, born Woodstock, VT 1805-died Florence, Italy 1873
William Campbell Preston
26 7/8 x 23 7/8 x 12 1/4 in. (68.3 x 60.6 x 31.0 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase in memory of Ralph Cross Johnson
Restrictions & Rights
Luce Center Label
William Campbell Preston was the elder brother of John S. Preston, who funded Hiram Powers’s move to Italy in 1837. The Preston brothers became significant patrons of the artist during his time in Washington, commissioning portraits and introducing him to prominent men in the city. Senator Preston and his wife ordered marble replicas of their portraits to be completed after Powers reached Italy, giving the artist some guaranteed income after his departure from America.
Luce Object Quote
“Your talent and industry cannot fail to achieve the highest rewards of art. I am exceedingly of the opinion that you should hasten to Europe and the world . . . for I fear that your name may become fixed before you have had the inspiration of the antique.” Senator Preston, 1837, in Richard P. Wunder, Hiram Powers, 1989-91