Cross-Currents in America: The Wolf Family Collection

Cross-Currents in America: The Wolf Family Collection

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Hiram Powers

Greek Slave

Auction Closed

April 21, 06:04 PM GMT


50,000 - 70,000 USD

Lot Details


Hiram Powers

1805 - 1873

Greek Slave

inscribed H. POWERS / Sculp. (under the bust)


21¾ in. (55.3 cm.) high on a 3 in. (7.6 cm.) marble socle

Conceived in 1845-46; this example executed in 1864.

Mrs. Gladys Rice Parsons, New York
Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn (acquired by gift from the above in 1951)
Christie's New York, December 4, 1987, lot 65
Wolf Family Collection No. 0917 (acquired from the above)
Lorado Taft, The History of American Sculpture, New York, 1924, reprint 1969, pp. 61-65
William Gerdts, American Neo-Classic Sculpture, New York, 1973, pp. 52-53
Richard Wunder, Hiram Powers: Vermont Sculptor, 1805-1873, vol. II, Newark, Delaware, 1991, no. 205-41, p. 169-73
Bicentennial Exhibition:  200 Years of American Furniture Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1976, pp. 35, 40-41, fig. 62 (left)
Wayne Craven, Sculpture in America, New York, 1984 revised ed., pp. 115-119, figs. 4, 10

Arguably the most important American sculpture of the nineteenth century, Greek Slave represents a shackled woman who was enslaved during the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s. Hiram Powers chose this subject in the 1840s, likely to comment on the ongoing debate over American slavery at the time.