Smithsonian exhibit features Powers' 'Greek Slave' sculpture

AP News
Posted: Jul 03, 2015 6:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Smithsonian American Art Museum is featuring one of the 19th century's most famous sculptures with a new exhibition about artist Hiram Powers' "Greek Slave."

The new exhibition "Measured Perfection" opens Friday. The museum says the exhibit reveals the inner workings of the artist and innovator who adapted long-established traditions in sculpture to new technologies of the 1800s.

The exhibit features finished and unfinished artworks and tools to reveal Powers' creative process and experimentation. There are 15 sculptures, plaster molds, casts and other tools. The Smithsonian acquired the materials from Powers' studio in Florence, Italy in 1968.

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One key piece is a life-size plaster model of the "Greek Slave." The sculpture was so famous during its time that Powers applied for a U.S. patent to protect his design.