Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew O'Connor (American, Worcester, Massachusetts 1874–1941 Dublin)
38 x 37 x 26 in. (96.5 x 94 x 66 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Willard Straight, 1922
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
This imposing shoulder-length depiction of Abraham Lincoln (1807-1865) was carved in 1916 as a variant after the model O’Connor made in 1915 for his “Lincoln of the Farewell Address” in Springfield, Illinois. The sculptor won the competition for a full-size standing Lincoln, sponsored by the Illinois Art Commission; the bronze statue was erected in front of the state capitol and unveiled on October 5, 1918. Both the Springfield bronze and the Metropolitan Museum limestone portray the fifty-two-year-old Lincoln, delivering his farewell address before traveling to Washington, D.C., to assume the presidency. The sculptor referred to a wealth of Lincoln material—from life casts of his face and hands to photographs—in his attempt to capture the appearance of his subject, yet he was later criticized for historical inaccuracy because he showed Lincoln without a beard, which he had begun to grow before leaving Springfield.
Mrs. Willard D. Straight, until 1922; [on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1920–22]
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