About This Artwork

Daniel Chester French
American, 1850–1931

Abraham Lincoln, modeled 1916; cast after 1916

Bronze
H. 83.8 cm (33 in.)
Inscribed, top of base at back right: "Daniel C French / March 1916"

Bequest of Arthur Rubloff Trust, 1991.324

Lorado Taft praised Daniel Chester French as “the dean of American sculptors.” French specialized in large-scale marble statues, private memorials, and portrait busts. Here the sculptor captured Abraham Lincoln in a difficult hour of decision, and the president’s expression is more serious and thoughtful than in French’s earlier bronze of the standing Lincoln (1984.1130). This bronze is a reduced version of the full-size statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., which French worked on with the architect Henry Bacon. French’s brother, William M. R. French, was the first director of the Art Institute, serving from 1879 to 1914.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Publication History

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. 175.

Ownership History

Arthur Rubloff, to 1991; The Art Institute of Chicago, 1991.




Interpretive Resources

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