Collections: American Art: Bust of Abraham Lincoln

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    23.257_SL1.jpg 23.257_glass_bw.jpg

    Bust of Abraham Lincoln

    Arguably the best-known sculptor of America's Gilded Age, Augustus Saint-Gaudens was one of many sculptors commissioned to produce memorial portraits of Abraham Lincoln in the decades after the Civil War. This bronze bust is a replica of the head of a standing Lincoln completed by Saint-Gaudens in 1887 on commission for the City of Chicago's Lincoln Park. The subject had personal resonance for the artist, who, as a poor boy in New York, had been one of thousands to view the assassinated president's bier in New York's City Hall. Saint-Gaudens based this likeness on an 1860 life-cast of Lincoln's head made by Leonard Volk. In Saint-Gaudens's clay sketches for the portrait he experimented with a variety of stances and expressions, ultimately representing Lincoln as a noble man, deep in thought. The full-length figure in Lincoln Park is positioned before a chair, as though he had just risen to begin a public address. This replica was cast in 1922, after the artist's death.

    • Artist: Augustus Saint-Gaudens, American, 1848-1907
    • Medium: Bronze
    • Dates: 1922
    • Dimensions: 28 x 17 x 14 in. (71.1 x 43.2 x 35.6 cm) 124.5 lb. (56.47kg)  (show scale)
    • Markings: Foundry mark inscribed on back along bottom: "KUNSt FOUNDRY. N.Y."
    • Signature: Inscribed under shoulder of proper left side: "A. SAINT GAUDENS. / © 1922."
    • Collections:American Art
    • Museum Location: This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Everyday Life/A Nation Divided, 5th Floor
    • Accession Number: 23.257
    • Credit Line: Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
    • Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
    • Caption: Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, 1848-1907). Bust of Abraham Lincoln, 1922. Bronze, 28 x 17 x 14 in. (71.1 x 43.2 x 35.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 23.257. Creative Commons-BY
    • Image: overall, 23.257_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: Portrait bust of Abraham Lincoln with head tipped downward; has furrowed brow and somber expression; wears a bowtie, suit jacket, and coat; on a pedestal base; naturalistic representation. Condition: Good.
    • Record Completeness: Best (86%)
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