On Sculpting the Great Man, Abraham Lincoln

To start at the beginning of this journey, we go back to 2016 when Wayne took a phone call from Gary Wade, the V.P. and Dean of the Duncan School of Law in Knoxville, Tennessee. Wade had recently seen photographs of Wayne’s latest bronze sculpture of Sam Houston and was impressed with his work. The Duncan School of Law is part of the Lincoln Memorial University, and was looking for the right artist to create a bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln to be placed on the grounds of the law school. Wayne was selected and talked with Wade about how he envisioned the statue.

How a statue will portray the subject is the most important aspect of the planning phase. It was agreed that the statue would depict Lincoln in his early 40s, around 1850, while he was a respected attorney and prior to his running for the presidency.

From that point, the creative design was left to Wayne, and the research began.

Lincoln was a self taught lawyer who practiced for approximately 20 years and was considered by his peers as a very good one. Others would seek him out for advice. With this in mind and along with the knowledge we have from history of Lincoln’s quiet, steady and thoughtful demeanor, Wayne decided to depict him as if in a courtroom, standing, his right foot forward, his left hand lightly resting on a book atop a pedestal, his right arm slightly forward with his hand shown holding papers and his gaze cast towards those seated in the jury box. He is pictured as working his case, with calm and even temperament, steadfast and quietly determined.

He is clothed in period appropriate attire, taking into consideration that he was not a wealthy man or a man concerned with the latest fashions. His clothing reflects the fact that they were a little dated even for that time.

Wayne begins work on the 110 percent life size sculpture this week.

The maquette version has been completed in clay and is currently being cast at the foundry. Maquettes size statues are available for sale as of now.

Contact Wayne for details.

Leave a Comment