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Life Mask (Abraham Lincoln)

1961-1962 Priscilla Roberts Born: Glen Ridge, New Jersey 1916 Died: Georgetown, Connecticut 2001 oil on board 19 x 15 1/2 in. (48.3 x 39.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase made possible by David S. Purvis 2009.12 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 38B


Luce Center Label

Life Mask (Abraham Lincoln) shows two well-known sculptures—Leonard Volk's 1860 life mask of Abraham Lincoln and Nike of Samothrace, the classical sculpture of the winged goddess of victory. Life Mask (Abraham Lincoln) is open to many interpretations. The classical statue, silhouetted in the foreground, may symbolize Lincoln's victory during the Civil War, but the muted colors and deep shadows suggest a more somber meaning. Roberts leaves the viewer wondering if this painting celebrates Lincoln's legacy, represents his mortality, or suggests that victory was overshadowed by his death.

Keywords

Portrait male - Lincoln, Abraham - head

painting

paint - oil

About Priscilla Roberts

Born: Glen Ridge, New Jersey 1916 Died: Georgetown, Connecticut 2001

More works in the collection by
Priscilla Roberts

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