The Lincoln Image

The Lincoln Image : Abraham Lincoln and the Popular Print

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"The Lincoln Image" documents how popular prints helped make Lincoln's a household face, deliberately crafting the image of a man of the people, someone with whom an ordinary American could identify. Featuring the work of Currier and Ives, John Sartain, and other artists and printmakers, this lavishly illustrated volume pairs original photographs and paintings with the prints made from them. That juxtaposition shows how printmakers reworked the original images to refine Lincoln's appearance. In several prints, his image replaces those of earlier politicians (the nineteenth-century equivalent of being "airbrushed in"); in others, a beard has been added to images that originally appeared clean-shaven. Focusing on prints produced in Lincoln's lifetime and in the iconographically important months immediately following his death, "The Lincoln Image" also includes wartime cartoons, Lincoln family portraits (most of which appeared after the assassination), and renderings of the fateful moment of the shooting at Ford's Theatre. In addition to discussing the prints themselves, prominent Lincoln scholars Harold Holzer, Gabor S. Boritt, and Mark E. Neely Jr. examine the political environment of the nineteenth century that sustained a market for political prints, showing how politics offered spectacle, ritual, and amusement to a nation without organized sports and with only a rudimentary entertainment industry. A fascinating examination of the relationship between Lincoln's image, the printmakers' craft, and the political culture that helped shape them both, "The Lincoln Image" documents how printmakers both chronicled and shaped Lincoln's transfiguration into an American icon.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 224 x 289.1 x 23.1mm | 1,179.42g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0252026691
  • 9780252026690

Review quote

"A fascinating and entertaining chronicle of how Lincoln, starting in 1860, was pictured, re-drawn, positioned, and otherwise visually re-packaged for the political instruction and general curiousity of the American public... It is a mark of how thorough the original work really was that this reprint, after almost 20 years and the most vigorous two decades of Lincoln scholarship on record, still holds the prize as the most important volume of what we might call 'the art of Abraham Lincoln.'" -- Allen C. Guelzo, Civil War News "This new edition is most welcome because the book was a major source of inspiration for what would become today's fascination with the mechanisms of popular art and culture. Written in a clear, straightforward style with careful attention to the contents of the pictorial evidence introduced, The Lincoln Image remains a model of how to study the interactions of art and society -- not by using pictures to illustrate ideas but by deriving information and enlightenment from the pictures themselves." -- Karal Ann Marling, American Studies "The authors have presented the prints with discerning eyes and insightful interpretation. The book was well worth reprinting and merits a reading or re-reading." -- James A. Rawley, Journal of Illinois History "Absorbing and entertaining." - New Yorker "[An] important contribution to the history of American prints as well as to the study of Lincoln ... a feast for both eye and mind, belongs in every library." - Choice "An exquisite archival picture book." - Kenneth R. Clark, Chicago Tribune "An intriguing assemblage of Lincoln's many looks; wild Republican; family man; angry prophet; sagacious dreamer." - Todd Crespi, Los Angeles Times "[A] superbly researched and splendidly written treatise that marks a milestone in Lincoln scholarship in its own right and serves as a model for further study of Lincoln as an artifact of American popular culture." - Roger A. Fischer, Civil War History "An outstanding merit of the book is its analysis of the business and art of image-making... [Its] prime value ... lies, though, in the excellent documentation of a compelling mystery: what did Abraham Lincoln really look like in his years of fame?" - Marcus Cunliffe, Washington Post Book Worldshow more

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