By Erin Carlson Mast
President Lincoln’s Cottage will be welcoming a new addition to its landscape this fall, a life-size statue of Lincoln and horse, a scene that would have been all too familiar when the Lincolns were living at the Soldiers’ Home and the President commuted daily to and from the White House.
The statue is being produced by StudioEIS in Brooklyn and was made possible through the generous support of Robert H. Smith.
The staff of President Lincoln’s Cottage and StudioEIS agreed early on that the goal should be to create something entirely new and entirely natural, a moment in time at the Soldiers’ Home. The artists have made every effort to create an accurate depiction of Lincoln, without sacrificing a natural pose or expression. They managed to capture the “twinkle” in Lincoln’s eye and give the viewer the feeling that they really are stumbling across Abe as he’s getting ready to leave for the morning or just coming home after a long day at the White House. The effect will be complete when the sculpture is put into place this autumn at President Lincoln’s Cottage.
The New York Times, in an article by Jake Mooney this past Sunday, June 29, 2008, recognized this sculpture was something different:
“Sculptures of American presidents tend to feature heroic poses. This one is different, a depiction of the president in his sole refuge in wartime, months after the death of his young son. Yet, historians say, he would meet personally with unannounced visitors to the cottage, and mingle with neighbors on his way home.”
The finished sculpture will be installed on the ellipse just north of the Cottage so that it is clearly visible and accessible to all visitors. The sculpture will not be elevated on a pedestal, rather it will appear to be standing on the grass itself, supported by a base buried below the ground.
Read the full New York Times article about the statue: “Abe, We Hardly Knew Ye This Way”