Reflections of a life lived

Album 3

[Click on photos below to enlarge.]

[April 30, 2014]     Send a link to a friend  Share

This painting hangs in the ground-floor gallery of the new museum. At the old museum it held a prominent spot on the east wall. In the new museum it is equally dominant in the room, catching the eye quickly.

The piece was done by artist Sacha Newley and donated to the Lincoln Heritage Museum in 2008. Entitled "The Head of Lincoln," it depicts Abraham Lincoln and includes the words of the Gettysburg Address as a backdrop.

Art is created for a variety of reasons, among them to please the eye or to evoke an emotion. This painting catches the eye and draws the viewer into it through its use of light, dark and texture. For some, the emotion it evokes, though, is not as much pleasure as it is sadness.

This is more than fitting, as throughout Lincoln's life he was plagued with sadness and pain. Born in Kentucky, he lived a meager life and lacked many of the creature comforts even of that day. He suffered the loss of his mother and was sorrowed deeply by this. He longed for education, but was denied that as he was made to work and help with the financial support of his family. He was not particularly successful in the romance department of his life until he met Mary Todd. He suffered deeply over the inhumanities of the era and grieved for those bound in slavery.

As a president, he reached the highest pinnacle of his political career, but the joy that should have been there was swiftly dashed away by war. He labored over every decision and suffered greatly when knowing those decisions would lead to mothers burying their young sons before they had a chance to really live their lives.

On the main floor of the new museum, visitors can walk through the life of Abraham Lincoln, seeing what he saw as a young man. The displays draw attention to his life and relationships in Logan County, his efforts as a young politician, a son, husband, father and finally the father of our nation.

Pictures by Nila Smith and Jan Youngquist



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