NO. R-177.  House concurrent resolution honoring the Vermont sculptor Hiram Powers on the occasion of the celebration of the bicentennial of his birth.

(H.C.R.108)

Offered by:  Representative Anderson of Woodstock.

Offered by:  Senator Campbell of Windsor County, Senator Dunne of Windsor County and Senator Welch of Windsor County.

Whereas, Hiram Powers is one of the major figures in the history of American sculpture, and

Whereas, Hiram Powers, in the words of the director and curator of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, “was the first American sculptor to gain international fame,” who “put American sculpture on the map,” drawing world attention for the first time to the United States as being able to produce an artist capable of equaling, and even bettering, his international counterparts, and

Whereas, Powers’s “The Greek Slave,” never equaled in popularity by any other work of an American sculptor, became in pre-Civil War America, and remains, in the words of Powers’s biographer Richard Wunder, “a telling symbol of freedom for Americans,” and

Whereas, Powers’s bust of President Andrew Jackson is considered the finest portrait ever made of Jackson, as well as one of the noblest examples of portraiture ever created by an American sculptor, and

Whereas, due to Hiram Powers’s extraordinary talents, he sculpted the statues of John Marshall, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson that stand in the United States Capitol, and

Whereas, Powers preserved with his sculptures the memory of numerous other great Americans, including George Washington, John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Martin Van Buren, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and

Whereas, Powers was born in 1805 in Woodstock, Vermont and happily spent his early years there, and

Whereas throughout his life, Powers held sacred the memories of his childhood in Woodstock, saying, “Dreams often take me back to Woodstock and set me down upon the green hills,” and drew inspiration from those memories for his most famous work, and

Whereas the citizens of Woodstock, Vermont are preparing to celebrate the bicentennial of Hiram Powers’s birth with exhibits, symposiums, and other commemorative activities in the summer of 2005, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly recognizes Woodstock as the official site of the bicentennial celebration of the birth of Hiram Powers and acknowledges the contributions of Hiram Powers to the artistic heritage of the United States, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Hiram Powers Bicentennial Committee.