RVA50 Object 27 “Abraham Lincoln Bust, 1943”

Abraham Lincoln Bust, 1943
Jo Davidson
Plaster cast by Alva Studios, NY

United States president Abraham Lincoln entered American iconography with his assassination in the spring of 1865.  National celebrations in 1905 marked the slain president’s death as well as the 50th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War.

This mid-20th century portrait bust, taken as a study from a larger work completed in marble or bronze, is one artist’s conception of the man and the icon based on life portraits of Lincoln.

For many years after the defeat of the Confederacy, Richmonders were loathed to portray Abraham Lincoln in their public spaces or their homes, though this began to change for a few with the passing of the war generation and a new national patriotism in the late 1890’s and into the early decades of the 20th century.  By 2012, the city was in a frenzy of excitement over the local filming of the major motion picture Lincoln.

Gift of Alva Studios, 1951