Concord Museum show reflects on Lincoln Memorial’s first century
CONCORD, Mass. – The Concord Museum presents The Lincoln Memorial Illustrated exhibition through February 26. Created by the Norman Rockwell Museum in collaboration with Chesterwood (the historic summer home and studio of Daniel Chester French), the exhibition highlights the work of noted artists who have incorporated the instantly-recognizable icon as a symbolic element. More than 50 historical and contemporary multimedia artworks showcase and contextualize the Lincoln Memorial’s cultural significance, including original paintings and illustrations, archival photographs, sculpture, artifacts and ephemera.
One of the most famous sites in the country, the Lincoln Memorial is now a century old. Dedicated in May 1922, it was designed by architect Henry Bacon and Concord sculptor Daniel Chester French, and it has served as a gathering place for some of the most significant and symbolic events of the past one hundred years. It has become an almost sacred space for civic expression focusing on race relations and human rights.
Daniel Chester French, the sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial, moved with his family to Concord in 1867, where he became a neighbor and friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson. In 1875, French sculpted The Minute Man statue in Concord, where it still stands today as an American icon. French is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord.
Featured moments in the Lincoln Memorial’s history include contralto Marian Anderson’s iconic 1939 performance; Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech during the 1963 March on Washington; and the 2018 Women’s March, highlighting the significance of this site to the civil rights movement and other rallies focused on social justice. A media installation by RLMG features sketches, photographs and films to narrate the story of the memorial’s construction and offer insight into the monument’s history and prominence in popular culture.
Visit the website of the Concord Museum and see its dedicated page for The Lincoln Memorial Illustrated.