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Hiram Powers

Hiram PowersAKA Hiram S. Powers

Born: 29-Jun-1805
Birthplace: Woodstock, VT
Died: 27-Jun-1873
Location of death: Florence, Italy
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Cimitero Accatolico, Florence, Italy

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Sculptor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: American neoclassical sculptor

American sculptor, the son of a farmer, was born at Woodstock, Vermont, on 29 June 1805. In 1819 the family removed to Ohio, about six miles from Cincinnati, where Hiram attended school for about a year, staying with his brother, a lawyer in Cincinnati. After leaving school he found employment in superintending a reading room at the principal hotel of the town, but, finding the pay insufficient, he became a clerk in a general store. His second employer in this line of business having invested his capital in a clock and organ factory, Powers set himself to master the construction of the instruments, his aptitude quickly enabling him to become lead mechanic in the factory. In 1826 he began to frequent the studio of Frederick Eckstein, and at once conceived a strong passion for the art of sculpture. His proficiency in modeling secured him a position as general assistant and artist of the Western Museum, kept by a Frenchman, Joseph Dorfeuille, where his ingenious representation of the infernal regions to illustrate the more striking scenes in the poem of Dante met with extraordinary success. After studying thoroughly the art of modeling and casting, at the end of 1834 he went to Washington, where his remarkable gifts soon attracted attention. In 1837 he settled in Florence, where he remained until his death. While he found it profitable to devote the greater part of his time to busts, his best efforts were bestowed on ideal work. In 1839 his statue of "Eve" excited the warm admiration of Thorwaldsen, and in 1843 he produced his celebrated "Greek Slave", which at once gave him a place among the leading sculptors of his time.

Father: Stephen Powers, Jr. (farmer, d. 29-Aug-1819)
Mother: Sarah Perry (b. c. 1764, d. 17-Mar-1824)
Brother: Jason R. Powers (b. c. 1786, d. 1849, cholera)
Brother: Philander Powers (b. c. 1788, d. 1834)
Brother: Benjamin Franklin Powers (b. c. 1790, d. 1860)
Sister: Sarah L. Powers (b. c. 1792, d. 1861)
Brother: Benjamin Powers (b. 1798)
Brother: Stephen Powers (b. 14-Jan-1798, d. 11-Apr-1855)
Sister: Susan Powers (b. c. 1801, d. 1810)
Brother: J. Sampson Powers (b. c. 1803)
Wife: Elizabeth Gibson (b. 1813, m. 1-May-1832, d. 1892)
Son: James Gibson Powers (b. 8-Jun-1833, d. 4-Mar-1838, brain tumor)
Son: Nicholas Longworth Powers (sculptor and photographer, b. 5-Jun-1835, d. 1904)
Daughter: Louisa Greenough Powers Ibbotson (b. 10-Sep-1838)
Daughter: Anna Burke Gibson Powers (b. 12-Jun-1841)
Son: William Preston Powers (sculptor, b. 3-Apr-1843, d. 1904)
Daughter: Florence Powers (b. 10-Jan-1846, d. 31-Jul-1863)
Daughter: Frances Austin Powers (b. 2-Jun-1849, d. 29-Jul-1857)
Son: Edward Everett Powers (b. 9-May-1851, d. 1883)
Daughter: Ellen Elizabeth Powers (b. 24-May-1853)

    Proxy Baptism: Mormon St. George, UT (Aug-1877)
    Irish Ancestry

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