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President Abraham Lincoln.

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Identifier: P0004-1024

Title: President Abraham Lincoln.

Description: Bust portrait of a bearded man facing forward. "Abraham Lincoln An exact reproduction of a newly discovered contemporary portrait of Abraham Lincoln painted by Thomas Buchanan Read, in 1864. Read, the poet and artist, served as a major and A. D. C., on General Lew Wallace's staff during the Civil War, and was an official recorder for the Federal Government, by means of his brush and by his verse of events and persons involved in the great conflict. General Lew Wallace in 1864 at the head of 5800 men, fought the battle of Monocacy against a force of 28,000 men, under General Early. His action at this time resulted in the saving of Washington D. C. Major Read, who was present during this encounter, painted his portrait of Lincoln soon after; for President Lincoln and the Artist were chance guests under the same roof, and at the same time in a residence near Washington. The painting, a small study and done in a rather quick manner, was printed on a wooden panel eight inches by ten inches. This portrait was presented to their mutual host the next day by Mr. Read. The painting was never exhibited, and after many years passed on to descendants of the host who lived in Kentucky. Here the portrait was stored in a trunk for 38 years, and was finally disposed of to an art and antique dealer in Cincinnati, Ohio. The present owner, C. H. Kunning, of Columbus, Ohio, procured the portrait from this dealer in March of 1930. Through the efforts of Mr. Karl Bolander, the director of the Columbus, Ohio, Gallery of Fine Arts, the convening directors of prominent art galleries from all parts of the United States in session at the Fogg Museum at Harvard University in July 1931, and the Vose Galleries of Boston, the identity of the artist, the age and authenticity of the portrait was further established. The painting was x-rayed at the Fogg Museum and was later a loan exhibit to that Museum. It was also one of the outstanding paintings at the inaugural exhibit of the new Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts held in January of 1931. Collectors and students of Lincoln, in all parts of the United States, including Mr. H. W. Fay, the Custodian of Lincoln's Tomb at Springfield, Illinois, say that this portrait of Lincoln is one of the best, if not the best, that has ever been produced of the martyred President. A reproduction of this painting is being used for the first time in the new book on Lincoln, entitled, "Abraham Lincoln, a New Portrait," by the eminent authority on Lincoln, the Honorable Emanuel Hertz, a prominent lawyer of New York City. Nicholas Murray Butler wrote the introduction for this book. The portrait will also be used in the new book entitled, "Art and Artists of the White House," by Charles E. Fairman, art curator, U. S. Capitol. Thomas Buchanan Read was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, on March 12, 1822, and died in New York, May 11, 1872. He was a protйgй of Nicholas Longworth, Ohio's first capitalist. After extensive study here and abroad, Read lived much of his life in Europe, making periodic visits to America, and spending much of these visits in Cincinnati, Ohio. His best known works are, "Longfellow's Children," in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, a portrait of George Peabody, (Peabody Institute, Baltimore), "Star of Bethlehem," "Water Sprite," "Sheridan's Ride," "Lost Pleiad," "Undine," heads of "Robert Browning, Longfellow, Tennyson and President Harrison, " "The Queen of Naples," the Pope in 1872, "Cardinal Pentini," "The Harp of Erin" and many of the nobility of Europe. His best known poem is that of "Sheridan's Ride." Others are "Drifting," "New Pastoral" and "The Patriot's Oath." Lincoln was very fond of Read's poetry and carried a copy of "The Patriot's Oath" in his pocketbook at all times." (in type on reverse side of image).

Rights: UND

Place: United States

Dates: 1864

Type(s): Print of A Painting

Maker/Creator: Thomas Buchanan Read

Subjects: print of a painting
Thomas Buchanan Read
black and white
Civil War, 1861-1865
Politics and government


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