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  Senate Vice Presidential Bust Collection

 Hannibal Hamlin
(1889) by Franklin Bachelder Simmons
 Hannibal Hamlin 

Hannibal Hamlin was one of three former vice presidents who was alive in 1886 when the U.S. Senate passed a resolution establishing a Vice Presidential Bust Collection for display in the Senate Chamber. The Joint Committee on the Library subsequently asked each of these three men to designate a sculptor, and Hamlin selected Maine native Franklin Simmons. Although Simmons’s studio was in Rome, the sculptor agreed to model Hamlin from life in Maine. Simmons’s departure for the United States was delayed, however, while he worked on a statue of the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for the city of Portland, Maine. After finally holding sittings with Hamlin in 1888, Simmons finished the marble bust by May of 1889. It was placed in the U.S. Capitol in August of the following year. A replica, also executed by Simmons, is now at Hebron Academy in Hebron, Maine.

A member of the so-called second generation of American sculptors in Rome, Franklin Simmons was awarded many commissions during a long, active career. The state of Rhode Island selected him to execute a full-length statue of Roger Williams for inclusion in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection. Simmons also sculpted busts of Adlai E. Stevenson and Charles W. Fairbanks for the Senate’s Vice Presidential Bust Collection.

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