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A work made of marble.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of marble.




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.


Currently Off View


Arts of the Americas


Hiram Powers (Sculptor)




Italy (Object made in)

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.

c. 1850–1854




No markings.


74 × 52.4 × 34.7 cm (29 1/8 × 20 5/8 × 13 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Art Institute of Chicago Purchase Fund

Reference Number


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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Extended information about this artwork

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