Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes were known worldwide for the extreme finesse of their daguerreotype portraits of Boston's notable politicians, writers, merchants, and other prominent citizens, a fine collection of which was among the early photographic acquisitions of the Metropolitan Museum in 1937. This whole-plate daguerreotype shows a type of subject not otherwise represented in the Museum's collection of Southworth and Hawes-a display of American sculpture at the Boston Atheneum. At the center is a plaster cast of Diana of Versailles, famed since the sixteenth century as a touchstone of Roman sculpture. Around it, in one of the earliest permanent displays of sculpture in America, are a cast of Houdon's bust of Washington and another, possibly of Franklin—in sum, a declaration of Boston's claim to be the "Athens of America." Like the casts themselves, Southworth and Hawes's exquisite daguerreotype is a faithful copy of reality, in their words a "transformation of shadows into substance."