Colorado State Capitol Virtual Tour
This statue on the east lawn of the capitol depicts a Native American standing over a dying bison. The memorial was the original idea of a group of real estate investors who thought that such a sandstone statue would lure newcomers into the Perry Park area of Denver. While this idea never came to fruition, a group called the "Fortnightly Club" and under the leadership of Mrs. E. M. Ashley and Eliza Routt, heard of the idea and thought that the statue would be a nice addition to the State's exhibit at the 1893 World's Fair Exposition at Chicago. The group commissioned Preston Powers, one time dean of the Art Department at the University of Denver and son of sculptor Hiram Powers, to make a bronze sculpture. After the Exposition it was placed for permanent display on the Capitol's East Lawn on a base of granite from Cotopaxi in Fremont County, Colorado. Powers, who was a close friend of the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, commissioned the poem for the base of the statue.
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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