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Luce Foundation Center for American Art / American Art
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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Sculpture: 20th century: Nancy Hanks and Boy Abraham Lincoln (#1)
Nancy Hanks and Boy Abraham Lincoln (#1)


Nancy Hanks and Boy Abraham Lincoln (#1)
about 1929
Paul Manship
bronze on marble base
15 3/4 x 8 x 6 1/4 in. (40 x 20.4 x 16.0 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist
1965.16.21
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“[I] depicted Lincoln as the brawny youth that he was.” Paul Manship, Art Digest 6, 1932, quoted in Rand, Paul Manship, 1989


These studies of Abraham Lincoln were for a statue outside the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company offices in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Paul Manship wanted to show Lincoln as a younger man, but the earliest existing photo was taken when the future president was thirty-seven. To get an idea of what he might have looked like before this, Manship and the director of the insurance company, Louis A. Warren, toured the areas where Lincoln grew up in Indiana and Kentucky, and researched his family genealogy. Nancy Hanks and Boy Abraham Lincoln was one of the earlier studies, but Manship later rejected the figure of the mother and modeled Abraham Lincoln the Hoosier Youth for the commission.

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