Lincoln: The Image

Exhibition Overview

Abraham Lincoln and image-making in America achieved popularity together. In the mid-19th century, engravings and lithographs were widely published, aggressively marketed, eagerly collected, and lovingly displayed. Printmakers unashamedly churned out both pro- and anti-Lincoln graphics, and it became clear that their motive was profit, not politics. Lincoln inspired pictures that depicted him as a candidate, commander-in-chief, emancipator, guardian of the Union, suppressor of civil liberties, and ultimately, national martyr - accurately reflecting public attitudes toward him and his reputation.