Monday, December 7, 2009

Bring Me the Head of Abraham Lincoln

Some time ago I wrote a blog post about our large seated carving of Abraham Lincoln by the woodcarver Frank Moran of Vermont. That post caught the attention of a fellow blogger Kevin Duffy, whose blog, Candler Arts, is one of my favorites. Kevin wrote to me and told me that he had often visited the Fenimore Art Museum and admired our Lincoln. When a bust of Lincoln carved in 1933 by Moran came on the market, he jumped at the chance to buy it. He wrote his own post on the bust back in September.

Well, I’m happy to report that because we both connected in the blogosphere the head of Lincoln has come to Cooperstown to join our statue in the permanent collection of American folk art. It’s a great addition to our representation of Moran’s work. Done about a decade before our seated portrait, the bust of Lincoln has a completely different carving style, much folkier in the quizzical expression on Lincoln’s face. You can now imagine the evolution from this fairly straightforward representation to a more monumental style realized in the larger work.

Frank Moran was one of the great folk carvers of the 20th century, and Abraham Lincoln is one of the great folk heroes in self-taught art. As we approach the sesquicentennial of the Civil War it is especially appropriate that our Lincoln iconography is expanding. Many thanks to Kevin for catching my post and doing one of his own on the piece that now has a home in Cooperstown.


  1. Congrats to both of you! What a great compliment to your existing sculpture! It's surprising how stylistically different the renderings are.

  2. Thanks, Joey. Yes, it is very dsifferent to the 1940s seated Lincoln. But very similar to our other Moran, a 1932 George Washington, which I will highlight in a future post.

  3. The Lincoln head is exactly where it belongs. I can't wait to see it in its new home.

  4. Congratulations!
    I sometimes wonder about the impact and influence of blogs... no longer.


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