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Summers with LincolnLooking for the Man in the Monuments$
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James A. Percoco

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228959

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228959.001.0001

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Lincoln the Mystic

Lincoln the Mystic

James Earle Fraser's Lincoln (1930), Jersey City, New Jersey

(p.145) 6 Lincoln the Mystic
Summers with Lincoln

James A. Percoco

Fordham University Press

James Earle Fraser's Lincoln in Jersey City, New Jersey is a thoughtful portrait of Abraham Lincoln, seated on a boulder, lost in either meditation or deep thought, contemplation. It is possible that the sculptor drew inspiration for seating Lincoln on a boulder from Augustus Saint-Gaudens's Adams Memorial, which Fraser had admired before he undertook his tutelage under his master. There is an air of pensiveness and quiet tension in the piece mixed with a touch of serenity, almost as if Lincoln has finished breathing a sigh and is now centered in calm repose of mind and heart. Standing before Lincoln the Mystic one might imagine Lincoln thinking, “thy will be done versus my will be done”, and like the true mystic embracing the void and silence fully. That is their way. Here it would appear that Lincoln could commune easily in silence with either a Buddhist or Trappist monk.

Keywords:   Jersey City, James Earle Fraser, Abraham Lincoln, boulder, meditation, Augustus Saint-Gaudens

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