Abraham Lincoln

Copied Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Abraham Lincoln, modeled 1887, cast ca. 1923, bronze on stone base, 171111 in. (43.227.927.9 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Cornelia E. Kremer, 1960.11.3
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Artwork Details

Abraham Lincoln
Roman Bronze Works
modeled 1887, cast ca. 1923
171111 in. (43.227.927.9 cm)
right: Augustus Saint-Gaudens/© back lower right inscribed: ROMAN BRONZE WORKS/N.Y.
Credit Line
Gift of Cornelia E. Kremer
Mediums Description
bronze on stone base
  • Portrait
  • Occupation — political — president
  • Portrait male — Lincoln, Abraham — head
Object Number

Artwork Description

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.