Abraham Art!

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Northern Light

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John Hartwell

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Andrew O'Connor, jr. (1874-1941), was the son of the artist who who had sculpted the 15th Mass. "Wounded Lion" at Antietam (http://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-wounded-lion-of-the-15th-massachusetts.129034/#post-1428614). Born in Worcester, Mass., the younger O'Connor had studied in London with John Singer Sargent, in America with Daniel Chester French, and Paris with Auguste Rodin. During his lifetime, O'Connor did several smaller busts of Abraham Lincoln, but also three outstanding, but very different monumental sculptures of our 16th President.

The first of these was the full length bronze figure of Abraham Lincoln that stands in front of the State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.
lincap1.jpg
This is "The Lincoln of the Farewell Address," pictured as he was about to leave Springfield to take up the burdens of
the Presidency. Invited to submit a design by the Illinois Art Commission, O'Connor took three years to complete the sculpture. Robert Todd Lincoln loaned him his father's life mask and a cast of Lincoln's hands made during his lifetime to incorporate into the portrait. O'Connor's sculpture was chosen over several competitors. It was unveiled in the Summer of 1918, during the Illinois Statehood Centennial.

A decade later, Andrew O'Connor created another extraordinary Lincoln portrait, a larger than life bust in limestone. A lean, angular, rough-hewn Lincoln, it stands in the Royal Exchange Building in London, and was a 1928 gift from the American Government.
oconnor1.jpg

In 1927, O'Connor was commissioned my the city of Providence, Rhode Island to do yet another Lincoln bronze, to be funded by contributions from the public. It was a truly monumental, seated Lincoln, older, tired, care-worn by the heroic struggle to save the Union. But, by the time the work was finished, the Depression had struck, and the city could not come up with the $20,000 cost. The bronze remained in the yard of the foundry where it was cast until 1956, fifteen years after Andrew O'Connor's death, when it was bought by Lincoln Park in Bladensburg, Md., a suburb of Washington D.C. And there it sits today, at the entrance to Fort Lincoln Cemetery.
Lincoln-Ft.-Lincoln-1024x768.jpg
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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The ' Farewell " Lincoln is one of the few implying his great physical strength, at least to me. Genuinely smitten by him, in this- not merely the work which means something. Not as crazy about worn Lincoln although you understand what was being said. It's struck me at the wrong time, just having read the most ' Lincoln ' , delightful tableau.

His vitality must have remained so very massive. I can source this- am being lazy. Lincoln was traversing the staircases with a staff member, in the White House. I guess in those days fire equipment inclusive of a long handled ax stood on landings. I've always adored Lincoln's tendency to become distracted by this stuff- do it myself so find it hysterical. He stopped, picked up the ax and held it by the very end, at arm's length. Said " I wondered if I could still do that. " Then he said he used to do it with two axes, and thought he could probably still do that, too.
 

John Hartwell

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The first monumental statue of Abraham Lincoln erected outside the United States, surmounts the Monument honoring Scottish soldiers who served in the American Civil War, located in Old Calton Hill Cemetery in Edinburgh, Scotland.
edinburgh.jpg
Erected in 1893, the monument features a standing bronze figure of Lincoln atop a plinith, holding the Emancipation Proclamation. Below, is the figure of an emancipated slave looking up at the President, and a group of flags and victory wreaths. The inscription is "In Memory of Scottish-American Soldiers," and the Lincoln quote: "To preserve the jewel of Liberty in the framework of Freedom."

Around the base is inscribed the words: "Suffrage", "Union", "Education", "Emancipation", and the name of the sculptor, "George F. Bissell SCT. 1893"

On one side of the monument, are named five Scottish Union soldiers:
Sergeant-Major John McEwan of the 65th Illinois,
Lieutenant-Colonel William L. Duff of the 2nd Illinois,
Robert Steedman of the 5th Maine, James Wilkie of the 1st Michigan Cavalry,
Robert Ferguson of the 57th New York,
Alexander Smith of the 66th New York.

The story of the monument, also referred to as the Emancipation Monument, and the leading role in its erection of the widow of Sgt.-Maj. McEwan, is told by the American Civil War Round Table UK.
 
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