Closing Era Statue
Public Art: Closing Era
Sculptor: © Preston Powers
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
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
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.