Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Oil on canvas
Canvas: 21 3/4 x 16 1/4 in. (55.2 x 41.3 cm) Frame: 26 5/8 x 21 7/8 in. (67.6 x 55.6 cm)
signature and date: lower right: "W. E. Marshall 1864"
In March 1861, Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as the nation's sixteenth president. By the time of his inauguration, the southern states had seceded from the Union and four years of civil war ensued. In January of 1863, Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation and within a month of his second term as president, Union military triumphs heralded an end to the war. Lincoln's presidency came to an abrupt end in April of 1865, when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in Ford's Theatre. The decorative border framing this oval portrait derives from the artist's early career as an engraver of portraits and bank notes. Marshall based this likeness of Lincoln on the photograph taken by Anthony Berger, a partner of the daguerreotype photographer Mathew Brady, on February 9, 1864, which was published in Meserve and Sandburg, "The Photographs of Abraham Lincoln" (1944, no. 85). This portrait was inherited by Oscar Marshall upon the death of his brother, the artist, and donated to the Society by the artist's sister-in-law.
Holzer, Harold, ed. "Lincoln and New York." New York: The New-York Historical Society and London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd., 2009.
Gift of Mrs. Oscar Marshall and her children
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.