Closing Era Statue

Closing era statue, State Capitol Building, Denver, Colorado

Public Art: Closing Era

Sculptor: © Preston Powers

Date: 1893

Location: East lawn of the Colorado State Capitol building, Denver, Colorado.

Description: The bronze statue depicts a native indian standing triumphant over a dying bison. The granite used for the base was from Cotopaxi, found in Fremont County (Colorado). The poet John Greenleaf Whittier, a close friend of Preston, wrote the poem which is located on the base.

Commissioned by: A group called the "Fortnightly Club".

History: In the late 1890's a group of real estate investors came up with the idea of commissioning a sandstone statue to be placed in Perry Park, Denver, as a way of making the area more attractive for potential property buyers. The investors must have been far too busy selling properties to follow through with the idea, but in all the excitement they planted the seed for a group known as the "Fortnightly Club". Led by two enthusiastic women, Mrs E.M. Ashley and Eliza Routt, the group saw the project as a perfect addition the the State's exhibit at the 1893 World's Fair Exposition in Chicago. Before long they had commissioned Preston Powers (son of well known sculptor Hiram Powers) to create the sculpture. Following the World's Fair the statue was placed on the east lawn of Colorado's State Capital building, where you can often find wayward squirrels playing around it. John Greenleaf Whittier is credited with naming the sculpture "Closing Era".



The Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier

The mountain eagle from his snow-locked peaks
For the wild hunter and the bison seeks,
In the chang'd world below; and find alone
Their graven semblance, in the eternal stone.




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