Lincoln the Mystic

James A. Percoco

in Summers with Lincoln

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228959
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823234981 | DOI:
Lincoln the Mystic

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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

Chapter.  10857 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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