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Portraying Lincoln: Man of Many Faces is the first major museum exhibition to demonstrate through the visual arts the multiplicity of responses that the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln have engendered. The art works included depict a range of visions of his life—from the historically accurate to the highly interpretive—as a young man, champion of civil rights, emancipator, tough-minded country lawyer, compassionate man of the people, resolute and resourceful legislator, President of the United States, martyred hero and American icon.
Portraying Lincoln will present over 100 examples of visual art, representing the work of more than ninety artists. Through these important works in painting, sculpture, mixed media, drawing, collage and printmaking, the artists provide aesthetically diverse imagery inspired by the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. From among the most significant artists of the 20th century to lesser known academically-trained and self-taught artists, the exhibition will provide a broad and resonant portrait of American artists who have chosen to give expression to Lincoln’s continuing influence. In an expansive range of artwork, the artists investigate Lincoln’s life through imagery that is figurative, abstract, conceptual, iconic, narrative, and mythic. This is work of outstanding artistic integrity, containing compelling contemporary perspectives on the issues surrounding Lincoln.