About This Artwork

Daniel Chester French
American, 1850–1931
Cast by Roman Bronze Works
American, early 20th century

Abraham Lincoln, modeled 1912, cast after 1912

95.2 cm (37 1/2 in.)
Inscribed, top of base at left: "Daniel C. French Sc./1912"
Foundry marks on back of base at right: "Roman Bronze Works N.Y."

Gift of Mrs. Philip D. Sang in memory of Philip D. Sang, 1984.1130

In 1909 the Lincoln Centennial Memorial Association of Nebraska commissioned Daniel Chester French to create a monumental statue of Abraham Lincoln for the grounds of the state capital. The association ran out of funds toward the end of the project and in lieu of a final payment, they permitted French to sell bronze casts of the original statue, of which at least 11 were made at New York’s Roman Bronze Works. With his head tilted downward, Lincoln is depicted in a moment of deep thought. French explained that he had “purposely tried to represent Lincoln bearing the burdens and perplexities and problems of the Great War.”

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Publication History

“Sculptor’s Pride in Art Institute,” Chicago Tribune, Feb. 6, 1985, Section 8, p. 1 (ill.).

Judith A. Barter et al., American Arts at The Art Institute of Chicago: From Colonial Times to World War I (Art Institute of Chicago, 1998), pp. 329-31, no. 174.

Eric Foner, “The Civil War and the Story of American Freedom,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 27, 1 (2001), p. 9 (ill.).

Ownership History

Philip D. Sang, Chicago, by early 1940s; by descent to Mrs. Philip D. Sang, Chicago, 1975; given to The Art Institute of Chicago, 1984.

Interpretive Resources

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