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Mr. Potter Palmer

A work made of carrera marble.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of carrera marble.




Hiram Powers (American, 1805–1873)

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 Mrs. 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.


Currently Off View


Arts of the Americas


Hiram Powers (Sculptor)


Mr. Potter Palmer


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Carrera marble


Signed on back: "H. POWERS / Sculp"


72.4 × 44 × 29.4 cm (28 1/2 × 17 5/16 × 11 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Gordon and Janis Palmer

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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