* all images property of Jeff Phegley (www.jeffphegley.com)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lincoln Obsession

I have been fascinated with vintage images of Abraham Lincoln for the last several months and the end product of this energy is the creation of Lincoln portraits in various stages of his life. There are very few photos of Lincoln that survive and most of them are close-ups of his face. The treatment of Lincoln in the following images are very different from one another. I produced these images several months apart as my medium choices changed between the production of each image.

The photographs of Lincoln taken during various points in his political career are quite interesting. His facial features provide a barometer for the times in which he was living. I tried to retain those emotions in the portraits below.

Head with Wings is based on a Calvin Jackson Ambrotype taken of Lincoln on October 1, 1858 (two years before he won the Presidency). Lincoln, pre-beard, appears untested, reserved yet focused.

Cohiba Lincoln is based on a Alexander Gardner Silver Gelatin Print taken of Lincoln on November 8, 1863 (mid-way through the Civil War). Lincoln's face is showing wear from the war. The war-tested President faces the viewer in a confrontational composition.

1865 Abe is based on an Alexander Gardner Silver Gelatin Print taken of Lincoln on February 5, 1865 (four days before the assassination of Lincoln). Lincoln's face seems to have aged several years per year of the war yet in this photograph he seems at ease and is smiling slightly.


p said...

These are really great, especially the first one. What are the posts on either side of the portrait - they remind me of something skeletal? I have a friend who did etchings of all of the presidents - I'll have to forward this to her.

Fro said...

Thanks P. I created airplane wings out of wood and affixed them to the side of the cigar box. Does your friend have the etchings online?...I would love to see them.