Exhibition at President Lincoln’s Cottage explores his intellectual, emotional complexity

“A Deep and Subtle Expression: Lincoln in Sculpture – Works from National Trust Collections,” explores how artists over the past 150 years have sought to convey Abraham Lincoln’s intellectual and emotional complexity through depictions of the 16th president’s distinct physical appearance. This rich and intimately scaled exhibition, on view at President Lincoln’s Cottage, a National Trust Historic Site in Washington, D.C., through Dec. 19, 2008, features sixteen works drawn from the unique holdings at several of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 29 National Trust Historic Sites.

The exhibition includes three studies for Daniel Chester French’s statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., one of the most profound and moving depictions of the former president. These, along with two rarely exhibited versions of French’s “Standing Lincoln,” models for the Nebraska state capital, are on loan from the sculptor’s home, Chesterwood.

Among the other works included, a “Life Mask” from the collection of the Woodrow Wilson House, and a small glass bust created for the 1876 centennial exhibition, hailed at the time by the New York Times as an “excellent likeness,” on loan from Villa Finale.

President Lincoln’s Cottage, which served as Lincoln’s family residence for a quarter of his presidency, is located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in northwest Washington, D.C. The site opened to the public in February 2008, following a seven-year, $15 million restoration. The Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center, a LEED-Gold certified facility located in a restored 1905 building adjacent to the cottage, presents permanent and temporary exhibitions about Lincoln’s presidency, family, and Washington, D.C., during the Civil War.

Visitor information, tickets and directions are available online at www.lincolncottage.org.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history – and the important moments of everyday life – took place, the National Trust for Historic Preservation helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., nine regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in all 50 states, the National Trust for Historic Preservation provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories. For more information visit www.PreservationNation.org.

About Lincoln’s Cottage

Abraham Lincoln lived at the Soldiers’ Home for a quarater of his presidency with his wife Mary and youngest son Tad.

Lincoln commuted daily from the Soldiers’ Home to various points in the city center while living at the Home.

Lincoln is one of four U.S. presidents who lived at the Soldiers’ Home while in office (Buchanan, Hayes, and Arthur are the other three).

President Lincoln’s Cottage rests on the third highest area in Washington, D.C., which gave it strategic importance during the Civil War.

Lincoln first visited the Soldiers’ Home shortly after his inauguration and rode out here the day before his assassination, therefore his connection to the Soldiers’ Home bookends his presidency.

The Cottage is an authentic historic home with an incredible wealth of surviving fabric. Visitors get to walk the rooms, touch the banister, and peer through the very same windows that Lincoln knew.

The Cottage was built between 1842 and 1843.

The Cottage has a basement, first, second, and attic levels with a total of 34 rooms including hallways, though the Lincolns seem to have used a fraction of those rooms while occupying it as a seasonal residence.