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Abraham Lincoln

modeled 1887, cast ca. 1923 Augustus Saint-Gaudens Born: Dublin, Ireland 1848 Died: Cornish, New Hampshire 1907 Roman Bronze Works (Founder) bronze on stone base 17 x 11 x 11 in. (43.2 x 27.9 x 27.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Cornelia E. Kremer 1960.11.3 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, East Wing


Luce Center Quote

"Lincoln stood tall in the carriage, his dark uncovered head bent in contemplative acknowledgement of the waiting people, and the broadcloth of his black coat shone rich and silken in the sunlight.” August Saint-Gaudens’s recollection of the impression that Lincoln made on him during Lincoln’s 1860 Cooper Union speech

Luce Center Label

This work was modeled in the same year that Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s sculpture of the sixteenth president of the United States was unveiled in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. Between 1884 and 1887, the sculptor made clay sketches and plaster models as he worked out his plans for the finished work. To create Lincoln’s face, he relied heavily on life casts made by sculptor Leonard Volk in 1860, the very year of the Cooper Union speech, which Saint-Gaudens had attended. On that memorable day, Saint-Gaudens was impressed with Lincoln’s height and the way he bowed his head as he acknowledged the people gathered before him. Saint-Gaudens presented Lincoln here with his head slightly tilted down, as it had remained etched in the sculptor’s memory.

Keywords

Occupation - political - president

Portrait male - Lincoln, Abraham - head

sculpture

metal - bronze

stone

cast