Designing the Lincoln Memorial: Daniel Chester French and Henry Bacon

February 12, 2009 – February 12, 2010

West Building, Main Floor, Lobby C


Overview: The original wooden model for the Lincoln Memorial by architect Henry Bacon, and the final plaster model for the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the memorial by Daniel Chester French, were on view in this one-year focus exhibition held in honor of the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth. The architectural model was on loan from the U.S. General Services Administration and the plaster model of the statue was loaned by Chesterwood, the country home, studio, and garden of Daniel Chester French. The works were presented with interpretive wall panels and photomurals about the site and the commissions.

Director Paul Sanderson introduced his new film documentary August Saint-Gaudens: Master of American Sculpture in a showing on February 15, 2009. A choral festival of early American song was performed in April in honor of the installation and the reopening of the American galleries in the West Building.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Deborah Chotner, assistant curator of American art, was curator.

Sponsor: The exhibition was supported by Robert H. Smith.

Image: Installation view of Designing the Lincoln Memorial: Daniel Chester French and Henry Bacon, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Gallery Archives