REEL D6: Letters, manuscript poems, catalogs and a sketchbook dated March 10, 1832.
REEL D39: 2 v. of notebooks; 1825, and 18 v. of sketchbooks, 1827-1847. Cole sketches mainly in New York State, The White Mountains, England, Italy, and Catskill, N.Y.
REELS ALC 1- ALC 4: Correspondence with Cole, including letters from friends, family, artists, and others; journals; notes; essays; lectures; poetry; clippings; and financial records.
Correspondents include: William Althorpe Adams, Samuel James Ainsley, Francis Alexander, Theodore Allen, Washington Allston, Thomas B. Ashton, Edwin T. Bennet, Simeon D. Bloodgood, William C. Bryant, Edward L. Carey, Cephas G. Childs, Lewis G. Clark, Thomas S. Cummings, Franklin Dexter, William Dunlap, Asher B. Durand, Robert Gilmor, George W. Greene, Charles C. Ingham, Charles R. Leslie, Jonathan Mason, Samuel F. B. Morse, John L. Morton, Henry C. Pratt, Luman Reed, John P. Ridner, Jonathan Sturges, Ithiel Town, Isaiah Townsend, Charles B. Trego, William P. Van Rensselaer, Cornelius Ver Bryck, Daniel Wadsworth, Samuel Ward, Robert W. Weir, Ambrose Wright, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; Catskill, N.Y. Cole lived most of his life in New York City even though he studied abroad. He was elected member of National Academy in 1826.
Material on reels D6, D39, D40 lent for microfilming 1961 by the Detroit Institute of Art. Material on reels ALC 1-ALC 4 lent for microfilming 1964 by the New York State Library. Paintbrushes were discovered 1964 by S.J. Fishburne, Albany Institute restorer, in basement of Cole's house. He turned them over to the Institute's director, Janet MacFarlane, who donated them to AAA, 1965.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The papers of sculptor Hiram Powers measure 12.4 linear feet and date from 1819 to 1953, with the bulk of the material dating from 1835 to 1883. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence with business associates, purchasers of his artwork, and numerous friends in the United States and Florence, Italy. Of note is Powers' "Studio Memorandum," from 1841 to 1845, which contains dated notations of letters written, receipts and expenditures, business contacts, works in progress, commissions and price quotations for work, comments on problems encountered during studio work, and other notes. Additional papers include scattered biographical material, financial and legal records, printed materials, photographs of Powers, his family, artwork, as well as an extensive collection of carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of many notable figures. Also found is a small amount of artwork by Powers and others, a scrapbook, and two autograph and memorabilia albums.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor Hiram Powers measure 12.4 linear feet and date from 1819 to 1953, with the bulk of the material dating from 1835 to 1883. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence, which is particularly rich in documenting his artwork, methodology, and his interaction with business associates, purchasers of his artwork, and his numerous friends in the United States and Florence, Italy. Other papers include scattered biographical material, writings by Powers and others, financial and legal records, news clippings and printed items, photographs of Powers, his family, artwork, as well as an extensive collection of carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of many notable figures. Also found is a small amount of artwork by Powers and others, a scrapbook, and two autograph and memorabilia albums.
Biographical material consists of documents for honors conferred on Powers, price lists and inventories of his artwork, papers regarding his death, including a translation of his will, and ephemera, such as his studio cap.
The bulk of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence with family, friends, business associates, and others, documenting his career as an artist and his personal life after he and his family moved to Florence, Italy, in 1837. Almost all of the letters have typed unconfirmed transcriptions completed by volunteers at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Besides details of his studio work and business dealings, his letters often discuss his views on aesthetics, American politics, slavery and the Civil War, and Spiritualism. Notable correspondence is with William B. Astor, Edward Everett, Samuel York Atlee, William and E. Clementine Kinney, George P. Marsh, George Peabody, Presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, William Cullen Bryant, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, John C. Calhoun, Thomas Crawford, John A. Dix, Asher Durand, Charles Francis Fuller, Henry Peters Gray, Horace Greeley, George P. A. Healy, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Samuel F. B. Morse, W. W. Story, John Sartain, Frances Trollope, and Daniel Webster.
Writings by Powers include his "Studio Memorandum," a journal-type notebook he kept from 1841 to 1845, which contains dated notations of letters written, receipts and expenditures, business contacts, works in progress, commissions and price quotations for work, comments on problems encountered during studio work, and other notes. Additional writings include poetry and autobiographical essays and instructions for handling his sculptures. Writings by others include poetry, most of which was written in praise of Powers' artwork. Of note are handwritten transcripts of poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Bayard Taylor, and John Quincy Adams. Also found here are short writings about Powers and his artwork.
Scattered financial and legal records in this collection include patent documents for tools invented by Powers, legal agreements, account statements, and bills and receipts. Printed material consists of news clippings, two booklets, an art association brochure, and an exhibition catalog for works by Powers.
This collection contains photographs of Hiram Powers, his family, friends, notable public figures, and artwork. Many of the photographs were taken by his son, Longworth Powers, who had a private photography studio in Florence. Included are portraits of Powers and his family, as well as a collection of 267 carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of artists, performers, politicians, writers, scientists, and other public figures, many of whom were friends with the Powers family. Other photographs depict Woodstock, Vermont, the marble quarry at Carrara, Italy, and artwork by Hiram and Preston Powers. Also found here is a photograph album kept by Louisa Powers.
Artwork consists of three drawings by Hiram Powers, including a caricature of Miner Kellogg. Also found in this collection is a scrapbook containing news clippings regarding the American tour of the sculpture Greek Slave, an autograph album belonging to Louisa Powers, and an album containing pencil drawings by Preston Powers and dried flowers collected on travels.
The collection is arranged into 8 series:
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1841-1927 (Box 1, 15; 0.8 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1819-1883 (Box 1-10; 9.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Writings, 1827-1887 (Box 10; 0.3 linear feet)
Series 4: Financial and Legal Records, circa 1840s-1892, 1915 (Box 10, OV 17; 8 folders)
Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1845-1953 (Box 10; 5 folders)
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1860s-1900, 1927, 1932, early 1950s (Box 10-13, 16, OV 17; 1.8 linear feet)
Series 7: Artwork, 1860, mid-1800s (Box 11; 4 folders)
Series 8: Scrapbooks and Albums, 1847-1876 (Box 14; 3 folders)
American sculptor Hiram Powers (1805-1873) was born in Woodstock, Vermont, and lived and worked briefly in Washington, D.C. and Boston, before settling permanently in Florence, Italy. Powers is known for portrait busts of prominent American politicians and his idealized neo-classical sculptures, most notably the Greek Slave.
The second youngest of nine children, Powers moved with his family to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1817. When he was 18 he began working in a factory that repaired watches and organs, and he later worked in the mechanical department of Dorfeuille's Western Museum. There, he developed his interest in sculpture and received a commission to create wax figures for a tableau of Dante's Inferno. In 1825 he studied with the Prussian sculptor Frederick Eckstein, who taught him how to model clay and make plaster casts. His early commissions for portrait busts caught the attention of Nicholas Longworth, who became his first patron and funded his travel to Washington, DC, in 1834. While in Washington, Powers completed portrait busts of several prominent politicians, including President Andrew Jackson. He also briefly worked on several commissions in Boston. In 1837, thanks to the patronage of Colonel John S. Preston, he and his family moved to Florence, Italy. He intended to live there for only a few years, but remained there for the rest of his life.
Powers set up a studio in Florence with several assistants, and continued to work on portrait bust commissions. He and his family were active members of the intellectual community of American and English émigrés, such as Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Horatio Greenough, the Trollope family, and many others. His studio was also a frequent stop on tourists' visits to Florence. In 1839 Powers began working on idealized sculptures in the Neo-classical style, based on history, mythology, and religion. Perhaps most famous of these are Greek Slave and Fisher Boy. Completed in 1845, Greek Slave was exhibited in London and toured the United States. The sculpture received wide attention from the press for its depiction of female nudity and its philosophical significance, and established Powers' international success as a sculptor.
During his career Powers received private and government commissions for portrait busts and ideal sculptures, and sold many replicas of his work. He also invented improved tools for use in his studio, which were patented in the United States, and he developed a special finishing process for marble from the Carrara quarry. He maintained friendships with many Americans through extensive correspondence, and openly expressed his views on the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Powers' son Longworth had a photography and sculpture studio nearby, and his son Preston, also a sculptor, took over many of Hiram Powers' remaining projects at the time of his death in 1873.
Additional Hiram Powers papers are available at the Winterthur Museum.
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming. Reel D117 contains "The Sculpture of Hiram Powers," by Paul B. Metzler. Reels 815-818 includes a "Collection of Letters from Old Residents of Cincinnati to Hiram Powers," compiled by Clara Louise Dentler. Reels 1102-1103 are comprised of an unpublished manuscript entitled "White Marble: The Life and Letters of Hiram Powers, Sculptor," by Clara Louise Dentler. Lent materials were returned to the lenders and are not described in the collection container inventory.
The Hiram Powers papers were purchased by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1967 from Christina Seeber, great-granddaughter of Hiram Powers which was subsequenlty transferred to the Archives of American Art in 1984. The Cincinnati Historical Society and Ohio State University also lent the Archives omaterials for microfilming in 1974.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Hiram Powers papers, 1819-1953, bulk 1835-1883. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Correspondents include: John White Alexander, William H. Beard, Eugene Benson, Albert Bierstadt, William Bispham, Edward A. Brackett, George L. Brown, Henry Kirke Brown, John G. Brown, John G. Chapman, William A. Coffin, Frederick S. Cozzens, Christopher P. Cranch, Charles T. Dix, Francis W. Edmonds, John W. Ehninger, Regis F. Gignoux, Horatio Greenough, George H. Hall, Thomas Hicks, Alfred C. Howland, Daniel P. Huntington, Laurence Hutton, Joseph Jefferson, Eastman Johnson, John LaFarge, Louis Lang, Samuel Laurence, William H. Lippincott, Jervis McEntee, Frank B. Mayer, Charles H. Miller, Samuel F. B. Morse, Louis L. Noble, Thomas S. Noble, William R. O'Donovan, Johannes A. S. Oertel, Thomas A. Richards, Horace W. Robbins, John Rogers, Thomas P. Rossiter, Samuel W. Rowse, Napoleon Sarony, James D. Smillie, Bayard Taylor, Cephas G. Thompson, Launt A. Thompson, John Q. A. Ward, John F. Weir, Robert W. Weir, Edwin D. White, Worthington Whittredge, and Thomas W. Wood.
Reel N25: A calling card of Herbert Adams; a letter to Mrs. Frederic N. Goddard from Adams, returning photographs of Bryant; and a letter to Bryant from F. Tabbot about his painting of a forest.
Biographical / Historical:
Poet; New York City. Bryant's son-in-law, Parke Godwin, was an author, one of whose books was a biography of Bryant, THE LIFE AND WORKS OF WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, 1883.
Bryant-Godwin collection (NYPL microfilm title)
Microfilmed 1956 by the Archives of American Art with other art-related papers in the Manuscript Division of the New York Public Library. Included in the microfilming project were selected papers of the Art Division and the Prints Division.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after
approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no
manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead.
Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from
1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
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Attorney General; and the Postmaster General. In fact, however, the Establishment last met in 1877, and control of the Smithsonian has always been exercised by its Board of
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two citizens of the District of Columbia; and seven citizens of the several states, no two from the same state. (Prior to 1970 the category of Citizen Regents not residents
of Washington consisted of four members). By custom the Chief Justice is Chancellor. The office was at first held by the Vice President. However, when Millard Fillmore succeeded
to the presidency on the death of Zachary Taylor in 1851, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was chosen in his stead. The office has always been filled by the Chief Justice
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The Regents of the Smithsonian have included distinguished Americans from many walks of life. Ex officio members (Vice President) have been: Spiro T. Agnew, Chester A.
Arthur, Allen W. Barkley, John C. Breckenridge, George Bush, Schuyler Colfax, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Curtis, George M. Dallas, Charles G. Dawes, Charles W. Fairbanks, Millard
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Wallace, William A. Wheeler, Henry Wilson.
Ex officio members (Chief Justice) have been: Roger B. Taney, Salmon P. Chase, Nathan Clifford, Morrison R. Waite, Samuel F. Miller, Melville W. Fuller, Edward D. White,
William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan F. Stone, Fred M. Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren E. Burger.
Regents on the part of the Senate have been: Clinton P. Anderson, Newton Booth, Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Robert Milledge Charlton, Bennet Champ Clark, Francis M. Cockrell,
Shelby Moore Cullom, Garrett Davis, Jefferson Davis, George Franklin Edmunds, George Evans, Edwin J. Garn, Walter F. George, Barry Goldwater, George Gray, Hannibal Hamlin,
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Wallace H. White, Jr., Robert Enoch Withers.
Regents on the part of the House of Representatives have included: Edward P. Boland, Frank T. Bow, William Campbell Breckenridge, Overton Brooks, Benjamin Butterworth,
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Singleton, Frank Thompson, Jr., John M. Vorys, Hiram Warner, Joseph Wheeler.
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Jr., James E. Webb, James Clarke Welling, Andrew Dickson White, Henry White, Theodore Dwight Woolsey.
Picturesque America; illustrations from the original 1874 edition, colored in the style of the period. The mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, waterfalls, shores, canyons, valleys, cities, and other picturesque features of our country by eminent American artists. Original pref. by William Cullen Bryant, pref. to this ed. by Oliver Jensen
The American landscape, no. 1. : Containing the following views: Weehawken, Catskill Mountains, Fort Putnam, Delaware Water-Gap, Falls of the Sawkill, Winnipiseogee Lake. : Engraved from original and accurate drawings; executed from nature expressly for this work, and from well authenticated pictures; with historical and topographical illustrations
Picturesque America; or, The land we live in. A delineation by pen and pencil of the mountains, rivers, lakes, water-falls, shores, cañons, valleys, cities, and other picturesque features of our country. With illus. on steel and wood, by eminent American artists. Ed. by William Cullen Bryant
Picturesque America; or, The Land we live in. A delineation by pen and pencil of the mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, water-falls, shores, cañons, valleys, cities, and other picturesque features of our country. With illustrations on steel and wood, by eminent American artists. Edited by William Cullen Bryant
Picturesque America, or, the land we live in. A delineation by pen and pencil of the mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, water-falls, shores, cañons, valleys, cities, and other picturesque features of our country. With illustrations on steel and wood, by eminent American artists. Edited by William Cullen Bryant
Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, east and west Florida, the Cherokee country, the extensive territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek confederacy, and the country of the Chactaws : containing an account of the soil and natural productions of those regions : together with observations on the manners of the Indians : embellished with copper-plates / by William Bartram
Picturesque America, or, the land we live in A delineation by pen and pencil of the mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, water-falls, shores, cañons, valleys, cities, and other picturesque features of our country With illustrations on steel and wood, by eminent American artists. Edited by William Cullen Bryant