Abraham Lincoln: The Man

Abraham Lincoln: The Man, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1887)
Replica of the statue in Parliament Square, London (c. 1920)

Abraham Lincoln: The Man (also called Standing Lincoln) is a larger-than-life size (12-foot (3.7 m)) bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States. The original statue is in Lincoln Park in Chicago, and several replicas have been installed in other places around the world. Completed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1887, it has been described as the most important sculpture of Lincoln from the 19th century.[1] At the time, the New York Evening Post called it "the most important achievement American sculpture has yet produced."[2] Abraham Lincoln II, Lincoln's only grandson, was present, among a crowd of 10,000, at the unveiling.[3] The artist later created the Seated Lincoln sculpture in Chicago's Grant Park.


The sculpture depicts a contemplative Lincoln rising from a chair, about to give a speech. It is set upon a pedestal and, in Chicago, an exedra designed by architect Stanford White.[4] Chicago businessman Eli Bates (1806–1881) provided $40,000 in his will for the statue. Saint-Gaudens was specially selected for the commission after a design competition failed to produce a winning artist. Saint-Gaudens, who revered the President, had seen Lincoln at the time of his inauguration, and later viewed Lincoln's body lying in state. For his design, the artist also relied on a life mask and hand casts made of Lincoln in 1860 by Leonard W. Volk.[2] While planning and working on the Standing Lincoln, Saint-Gaudens was first enticed to what would become his home and studio, and an associated artist's colony. To convince him to vacation near Cornish, New Hampshire, a friend told him the area had "many Lincoln-shaped men."[5]


A Stanford White designed exedra (semicircular platform with bench) frames Saint Gaudens' original statute

The sculpture's naturalism influenced a generation of artists.[1] The monument was also a favorite of Hull House founder Jane Addams, who once wrote, "I walked the wearisome way from Hull-House to Lincoln Park ... in order to look at and gain magnanimous counsel from the statue."[6] Journalist Andrew Ferguson discusses the statue at length in his book Land of Lincoln, writing that the statue presents "a sort of world-weariness that seems almost kind".[3] The City of Chicago awarded the monument landmark status on December 12, 2001.[1] It is located near the Chicago History Museum and North Avenue.

Replicas of the statue stand at Lincoln Tomb in Springfield, Illinois; Parque Lincoln in Mexico City; and Parliament Square in London.[2][7][8] The Parliament Square statue was given to Britain in July 1920. The American Ambassador made a formal presentation at Central Hall, Westminster, where Prime Minister David Lloyd George accepted the gift on behalf of the people of Britain; after a procession to Parliament Square, the statue was unveiled by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught.[8] The Mexico City statue was presented by United States President Lyndon Johnson to the people of Mexico in 1964. Later, Johnson received a small copy of the bust from the statue, which since then is often seen displayed in the Oval Office of the White House. In 2016, a newly cast replica was installed at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire.[5][9]

From 1910 onwards, Saint-Gaudens' widow, Augusta, oversaw the casting of a number of smaller replicas of the statue, reduced to slightly under one-third the size of the original. Some of these replicas are now held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Harvard Art Museums, the Jackson District Library in Jackson, Michigan, the Newark Museum, New Jersey, and the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site.[10]


  1. 1 2 3 Abraham Lincoln Monument. City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Landmarks Division (2003). Retrieved on May 8, 2007
  2. 1 2 3 "Abraham Lincoln: The Man". Chicago Park District. 2010. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  3. 1 2 Andrew Ferguson. Land of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe's America. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2007. 71–72
  4. "StandingLincoln". sgnhs.org. Retrieved 18 April 2016.
  5. 1 2 "Abraham Lincoln in Cornish". nps.gov. April 18, 2016.
  6. "Influence of Lincoln". Twenty Years at Hull House. Retrieved on August 14, 2007
  7. Lincoln's Tomb.
  8. 1 2 National Archives – United Kingdom, Statue of Abraham Lincoln.
  9. Curtis, Jack, "Column: Saint-Gaudens’ Deeply Human Lincoln", Valley News, July 1, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  10. Tolles, Thayer (2013). "Abraham Lincoln: The Man (Standing Lincoln): a bronze statuette by Augustus Saint-Gaudens". Metropolitan Museum Journal. 48: 223–37.

External links

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Coordinates: 41°54′45″N 87°37′49″W / 41.91263°N 87.63026°W / 41.91263; -87.63026

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