Tuesday, July 24, 2007

07/08 Academic Decathlon Art Selection #7



Abraham Lincoln Memorial - of all the presidents, he seems to be one of the most interesting. I love looking at his face - craggy with deep set eyes, prominent cheek bones and a strong jaw. His physical presence is reflected so beautifully in Daniel Chester French's sculpture of him. A couple of summers ago I was in Massachusetts and got to visit the studio of the sculptor. This photo shows part of the artist's work space. One interesting feature of his studio was a short railroad track that ran up to the big double doors he had installed. By having his sculpture on a rail cart, he could roll it out onto the tract to see it in natural light. Sculpture is a dynamic art form - viewed from all angles as well as being greatly influenced by its light source. What else can you find out about this monument?

1 comment:

Vijay said...

-The construction began on February 12, 1914 and completed in 1922.

-The statue stands 19 feet 9 inches (6 m) tall and 19 feet wide, and was carved from 28 blocks of white Georgia marble.

-The memorial takes the severe form of a Greek Doric temple. It is 'peripteral,' with 36 massive columns, each 37 feet (10 m) high, entirely surrounding the cella of the building itself, which rises above the porticos.

-As an afterthought, the 36 columns required for the design were seen to represent the 36 U.S. states at the time of Lincoln's death, and their names were inscribed in the entablature above each column. The names of the 48 states of the Union when the memorial was completed are carved on the exterior attic walls, and a later plaque commemorates the admission of Alaska and Hawaii.

-The main influence on the style of the Lincoln Memorial was the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece.

-Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is inscribed on the south wall, and in the other, Lincoln's second inaugural address is inscribed on the north wall.

-On the wall behind the statue, visible over the statue's head, is this dedication:

IN THIS TEMPLE
AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION
THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
IS ENSHRINED FOREVER