Andrew Jackson

Artist: Hiram Powers (American, Woodstock, Vermont 1805–1873 Florence)

Date: 1834–35; carved 1839

Medium: Marble

Dimensions: 34 3/4 x 23 1/2 x 15 1/2 in. (88.3 x 59.7 x 39.4 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Frances V. Nash, 1894

Accession Number: 94.14

Description

When the aged Andrew Jackson (1767–1845) sat for Powers at the White House, he requested that the sculptor not idealize him: "Make me as I am. . . . It’s the only safe rule to follow." Powers faced the difficult task of reconciling the president’s political imperative to serve the "common man" with his heroic reputation. This highly realistic portrait of a still controversial figure reflects both of Jackson’s sobriquets: King Andrew, for his sometimes imperial style of governing, and Old Hickory, for his unbending strength and determination. The bust was carved in marble in Florence, Italy, where Powers had settled permanently in 1837.

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