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America

A work made of marble.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of marble.

Date:

1850/54

Artist:

Hiram Powers
American, 1805–1873

About this artwork

Modeling an abstract idea as a woman, here an allegory of America, artist Hiram Powers sought to give visual form to democratic ideals, which he believed would resonate strongly with audiences in both the United States and Europe in the mid-19th century. Draped cloth partially covers the figure’s chest and she wears a headband, or diadem, whose 13 stars signify the nation’s first states. This classicizing bust is drawn from Powers’s full-scale sculpture, similarly called America, in which the woman triumphantly raises one arm and stands upon broken chains. Living in Florence, Powers supported the uprisings there for a republican government. An abolitionist, he also strove to reaffirm the ideals of liberty and self-governance at home, where slavery—fueled by a white colonialist drive to expand westward—threatened the Union in the 1850s.

Status

On View, Gallery 161

Department

Arts of the Americas

Artist

Hiram Powers (Sculptor)

Title

America

Origin

Italy

Date

c. 1850–1854

Medium

Marble

Dimensions

H.: 73.7 cm (29 in.)

Credit Line

Art Institute of Chicago Purchase Fund

Reference Number

1910.30

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/64076/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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