About this artwork
Chicago businessman Potter Palmer and his wife Bertha commissioned a pair of portraits in 1871 from Hiram Powers, an American sculptor living in Florence (see Mr. Potter Palmer). Executed in marble, with folded draperies and restrained features, the busts exemplify the classicizing style that Powers honed in Italy—and some Americans found so appealing—in the mid-19th century. They are among the first works of art purchased by the couple, who soon became major art collectors and philanthropists. Bertha Honoré Palmer, in particular, was a discerning collector, responsible for bringing some of the first works by French Impressionists to Chicago. An important cultural leader, she organized the displays and programming for the Woman’s Building at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in the city.
- Hiram Powers (Sculptor)
- Mrs. Potter Palmer
- United States (Object made in)
- Carrera marble
- Signed on back: "H. POWERS / Sculp"
- 69.5 × 48.9 × 29.5 cm (27 3/8 × 19 1/4 × 11 5/8 in.)
- Gift of Gordon and Janis Palmer