Augustus Saint–Gaudens (American, 1848–1907)
Bronze; 40 1/2 x 16 1/2 x 30 1/4 in. (102.9 x 41.9 x 76.8 cm)
Purchase, Tyson Family Gift, in memory of Edouard and Ellen Muller; The Beatrice G. Warren and Leila W. Redstone, and Maria DeWitt Jesup Funds; Dorothy and Imre Cholnoky, David Schwartz Foundation Inc., Joanne and Warren Josephy, Annette de la Renta, Thomas H. and Diane DeMell Jacobsen Ph.D. Foundation, and Felicia Fund Inc. Gifts, 2012 (2012.14a,b)
This statuette is a reduction after Saint-Gaudens's monument to Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), which was dedicated in Chicago's Lincoln Park in 1887. The sculptor based the portrait on Leonard Wells Volk's life mask of Lincoln (2007.185.2) and on photographs taken during his presidency. Saint-Gaudens's vision of the Great Emancipator was further informed by his subject's speeches and writings and by his own youthful remembrances of Lincoln's visits to New York. Here a pensive Lincoln has risen from the eagle-emblazoned chair of state, his left foot advanced and his head bowed reflectively as he prepares to deliver a public address.