Benjamin Paul Akers, ca. 1860

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Benjamin Paul Akers, ca. 1860

Purchase a reproduction of this item on


Benjamin Paul Akers was born in Westbrook in 1825. As a young man, he worked at his father's mill in Westbrook, making toys and turning wood. He attempted writing, drawing and painting, all with little success.

In 1849, Akers traveled to Boston to learn plaster casting. He worked in the medium for the rest of his life. In 1850, he opened a studio in Portland, and with the patronage of John Neal, his work quickly became popular.

He cast busts for many politicians and influential people in Maine and around the country, including the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. His most famous sculpture, the Lost Pearl Diver, is now owned by the Portland Museum of Art. Akers traveled extensively through Italy, working and studying sculpture.

In 1860, Akers returned to Philadelphia to work, and soon became ill. He declined quickly and died in 1861. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Portland.

View/Add Comments

About This Item

  • Title: Benjamin Paul Akers, ca. 1860
  • Creation Date: circa 1860
  • Subject Date: circa 1860
  • Town: Philadelphia, Portland, Westbrook
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME, PA
  • Media: Photographic print
  • Dimensions: 13 cm x 10 cm
  • Local Code: Photographs--People--Akers
  • Object Type: Image

Cross Reference Searches

Standardized Subject Headings


For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

Use of this Item is not restricted by copyright and/or related rights, but the holding organization is contractually obligated to limit use. For more information, please contact the contributing organization. However, watermarked Maine Memory Network images may be used for educational purposes.

Please post your comment below to share with others. If you'd like to privately share a comment or correction with MMN staff, please use this form.