Birth—Early years—Begins life as a clerk in a dry goods store—Artistic talent—Opposition of his parents—A change in his plans—Becomes an engineer—Failure of his eyes—Voyage to Spain—Return home—Becomes a machinist—Promoted—Learns to model in clay—Commences his studies in art—A hard life, and a noble perseverance—A change for the better—A sudden reverse—Out of work—Visits Europe to study his art—Returns home in despair—Enters the service of the surveyor of the city of Chicago—His first statuettes—Their success—A new field opened to him—Visits New York, and learns the new method of casting figures—Establishes himself in New York—His first studio—Immediate popularity of his works—Description of them—Removes to a new studio—His later works—Process by which they are made-Originality of the artist rewarded by the public—Personal characteristics.
Birth—Juvenile mechanical skill—The life of a Vermont boy—Hard times—Removal of the Powers family to the West—The new farm—Misfortunes never come singly—Breaking up of the household—Hiram’s first employment—The reading-room scheme—Hiram becomes a collector of bad debts—Reminiscences of the young West—Powers becomes a mechanic—Story of the brass plates—Rapid promotion—The silver watch—How Hiram purchased it—The Cincinnati Museum—The artist’s first lessons in modeling—His first sitter—The trial of skill—The king of the Cannibal Islands—The man-eater—Hiram becomes interested in the museum—How he played the devil in Cincinnati—A dishonest employer—Mr. Longworth’s offer—Powers goes to Washington—His success there—Visit to “Old Hickory”—The first critic—Kindness of Senator Preston—Powers goes to Italy—Arrival in Florence—His first works in Italy—Visit to Thorwaldsen—Works of Powers—His rapid success—His life in Italy—Views of Mr. Powers respecting an artist life—Personal characteristics—Popularity with artists.
An American by adoption—Early life and education—How he learned to draw—Becomes an artist—His first picture—The evils of too much haste—His first professional engagement—Despondency—A ramble through the Virginia woods, and what came of it—A friend in need—Greater success—Friendship of Mr. Carey—Leutze goes to Europe—Studies at Dusseldorf-His reception there—Becomes Lessing’s pupil—His first picture finds a purchaser—Travels and studies in Europe—Returns to Dusseldorf, marries, and makes his home in that place—His paintings—Returns to New York—Success in America—The Government commission—Journey to the Rocky Mountains—The great fresco in the Capitol—“Westward the Star of Empire takes it Way”—Revisits Dusseldorf—Reception by the artists—Returns to the United States—Further commissions from the Government—His sudden death—His unfinished works—Mr. Tuckerman’s remarks.