The Lincoln Statue Title: The Final Summation

When sculptures of persons are created, a great deal of thought goes into the planning process. Those who commission a piece will normally have an idea in mind which will include a time period, a particular event involving the subject or subjects, plus a site location where the statue will be placed.

All of these items in themselves explain the purpose of erecting a monument involving the subject; who is this person, what were they involved in and what had they accomplished at that time period, plus what is their relation to the chosen site. Many times the subjects themselves are representative of an action or a moment in time, and serve as one part of a larger memorial site which includes other chosen artifacts, plantings, symbols etc., to complete the final memorial. A good example of this can be found on this website, under Monuments, titled “A Hero’s Prayer.”

A monument, a sculpture speaks without words. It is art for the citizens of the world and for the ages.

It serves to teach us, to invoke emotion, to remember and to reflect. It offers a place a peace and beauty.

With all of the above in mind, the original vision of the commissioning body is placed in the hands of the artist. Wayne was honored to begin this particular journey in sculpting the great man, Abraham Lincoln.

For this piece, after talking with Gary Wade, the Dean of the Duncan School of Law , who had commissioned the statue, a great deal of the creative design was left to Wayne. Knowing the overall vision and intent as well as the site location, Wayne began to focus on how he wanted Lincoln to appear. He began research on the technical details, such as correct period clothing, to age appropriate physical characteristics and onward to the habits of the man himself and to the essence of Lincoln prior to his election becoming the 16th President of the United States.

Wayne read historical accounts, visited museums, contacted a period clothing expert and viewed portraits, photographs and previous statues and monuments.

He learned of Lincoln’s early years with his thirst for knowledge, his love of books, his chosen career in law, being self taught. He came from humble beginnings and remained humble.  It was later, during Lincoln’s presidency, that his brilliant mind was exposed through his many, humorous, self deprecating anecdotes, much to the annoyance of his cabinet. These anecdotes often served as a channel for Lincoln to make a firm stand on individual issues, while having a hint of devilment in its delivery. Lincoln knew law. He knew his way around law when required. He was inwardly strong and determined.

And so, out of this research, Wayne decided on exactly how he wanted to portray Lincoln at this particular period in his life.

Lincoln’s physical appearance would include clothing he would have worn, correct facial features and hairstyle worn in his early 40s. He would be portrayed as if standing in court with his papers in hand, very slightly animated as if stepping forward as he is laying out his final summation, with a tilt of the head downward so as to make eye contact with those seated in the jury box.

With this personal vision in mind, the sculpting could begin. It will be called “The Final Summation.”

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