Creating a new Lincoln

The center section of the plaster cast of Lincoln - looking very fashionable for all his years

The center section of the plaster cast of Lincoln – looking very fashionable for all his years

Monument specialists at Gettysburg National Military Park and the NPS Historic Preservation Training Center are working in Gettysburg to prepare for the casting of a new life-sized bronze statue of a standing Abraham Lincoln for the Saint-Gaudens National  Historic Site, in Cornish, New Hampshire. The cast will be of Saint-Gaudens’ 1887 “Abraham Lincoln: The Man,” the original of which is in Chicago, Illinois’ Lincoln Park.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens stands with a plaster model of

Augustus Saint-Gaudens stands with a plaster model of “Abraham Lincoln: The Man” in his Cornish studio.

This complex project is being performed in steps.  First a 1965 plaster cast of an original, Augustus Saint-Gaudens sculpture is being conserved. The plaster casting will then be used to create a new bronze, 12 foot tall statue of Lincoln.

Gettysburg’s monument specialists have an impressive track record of caring for and completing major restorations of sculptural work on monuments and memorials, including the repair of the 11th Massachusetts monument and the monument to Smith’s Battery at Devil’s Den.

This week, restoration of plaster patterns continued at the Gettysburg maintenance facility.  Work focused on chair patterns and the torso section of the statue.  The plaster patterns that

Plaster casts of the chair legs.

Plaster casts of the chair legs.

were completed this week were set up for the mold making process which will be used to pour the bronze casting later in the process.

Work will continue at Gettysburg throughout the spring and summer months.  The bronze casting will be done off-site at a foundry.  Patina and other finishing touches will be completed at Gettysburg and the finished sculpture will be shipped to Saint-Gaudens’ home and studios in time for a

Brian Griffin creating a rubber mold of part of the plaster cast.

Brian Griffin creating a rubber mold of part of the plaster cast.

September 2015 ribbon cutting to commemorate the park’s 50th birthday.

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site is New Hampshire’s only national park. The park preserves the studios, home, and gardens of American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907). The placement of the 12 ft. bronze cast on the grounds will be the centerpiece of the park’s golden anniversary celebration. The Standing Lincoln will be the first new sculptural addition to the park’s landscape since the Shaw Memorial bronze was unveiled in 1997.

Read more this project on the blog of the Saint-Gauden National Historic Site.

Primary.FindYourParkLogo.FullColorNPS Centennial Initiatives – Creating a new Lincoln is one of several arts initiatives Gettysburg NMP is undertaking to engage new audiences and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates.  We have also created Arts in the Parks Residencies at Gettysburg.  In March, we announced this new opportunity for artists, co-sponsored by the National Parks Arts Foundation and the Gettysburg Foundation.

The program will host three different artists for one month residencies at on the Gettysburg battlefield in one of the historic houses. The artists, who will be selected by National Parks Arts Foundation’s curators and advisors, will use the residencies to create artwork inspired by their stay at the Gettysburg battlefield, the surrounding woods, memorials monuments, and the Soldiers’ National Cemetery.  Three residencies will be selected for this summer, one in July August, and September.  To learn more go to:

For more about the NPS Centennial go to

We’ll be posting updates on creating a new Lincoln on Gettysburg NMP’s Facebook page too at

Katie Lawhon, Management Assistant, April 30, 2015


About The Staff

Staff of Gettysburg National Military Park
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