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President Abraham Lincoln.

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Identifier: P0004-1026

Title: President Abraham Lincoln.

Description: Bust portrait of a smiling man in a suit. "Copyright Carrie Conant Smith Mar. 26. 1911." (written in bottom right corner of image). "TO BE RETURNED WITHOUT FAIL TO MISS FLORENCE HAYEARD 5843 WATERMAN AVENUE ST. LOUIS." (typed on reverse side). "From Florence Hayward Collection" (written on reverse side). Paper included in folio with image reads: "A few weeks prior to the election of Abraham Lincoln, I went to Springfield Ill. to paint his portrait. This picture is a photographic copy of the portrait painted at that time, and reproduces faithfully the spirit and genial expression of the original. As previous to the time of my visit to Springfield I had seen only crude photographs and newspaper representations, which gave his rugged features in repose, my first sight of him was a revelation. This beaming expression of the man who stood transfigured before me was the one I resolved to do my utmost to transfer to canvas. At the first sitting on the following day, he carelessly dropped into a chair I had placed for him; but what a change in expression. It was not the Lincoln I had resolved to paint,--not the genial animated person of the day before,--but instead the Lincoln of the newspapers. The problem, then, was how to divert his mind from the absorbing questions which overwhelmed him. Not until I spoke of his joint debate with Stephen A. Douglass did Lincoln show himself again; but after that I had little trouble in calling him out. A question about his store-keeping experiences, his early life, his flat boat trips to New Orleans, or how he become a lawyer,--any of these would do it. I was also greatly helped by frequent visitors who sat behind me, thus facing him, and with whom he kept up an animated conversation. Mrs. Lincoln's emphatic approval was very gratifying to me. 'Oh! that is excellent, excellent" she exclaimed one day when she saw the nearly completed portrait; "its [sic] the best likeness of him ever taken. He looks there as he does when his friends are about him. I hope he will look like that after the second of November.' New York, March 15th, 1911. A.J. Conant [signed]" "Mr. Conant told me that Lincoln's eyes were not--either brown or hazel, but blue, 'bright-dark blue' he said. Florence Hayward" (written on the side of document).

Rights: UND

Place: United States

Dates: 1911-03-26

Type(s): Photograph of A Painting

Maker/Creator: Carrie Conant Smith

Subjects: photograph of a painting
Carrie Conant Smith
black and white
Civil War, 1861-1865
Politics and government


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