Looking at Lincoln
Works by Richard Wengenroth, Anthony Savini
and others, including historical images from the Robert P. King Collection of Lincolniana at the Erie County Historical Society.


A public reception will be held during
Gallery Night, Friday, December 7 from 7 – 10 p.m.


Main Gallery • December 7, 2012 – April 7, 2013

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation (effective January 1, 1863), the Museum presents an exhibition exploring images of Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States. One of the most highly respected national leaders in the history of the world, Lincoln, for many, represents the best qualities of the American character.

Richard Wengenroth’s paintings and drawings of Lincoln form the cornerstone of the exhibit. Wengenroth has created over 50 images of Lincoln, the majority of them between 1998 and 2007. Wengenroth first attempted one allegorical portrait but he then realized that “such a multifaceted character could not be captured in one image, and would require a different artistic execution for the various stages of his life.” Wengenroth’s Lincolns include six large portraits in acrylic on paper, each representing a different phase in Lincoln’s political career. Smaller “fragment” drawings show portions of Lincoln’s face—eyes, chin, nose, etc.—that are immediately recognizable, despite their abstraction.

Photographer Anthony Savini contributes gorgeous portraits of perhaps the most familiar of all Lincoln images: the profile on the penny. Selected from a longstanding series of photos of interesting coins, Savini’s Lincolns are beautifully rendered, colorful abstractions shaped by abrasion, corrosion and the other vagaries to which coins are regularly subjected.

Historic objects from the Erie County Historical Society’s Lincoln collections complement the modern works. Among them are period photographs—cabinet cards and cartes de visite—commemorative postal covers (envelopes with illustrations), Civil War-era ribbons, and a flag which draped Lincoln’s casket as it passed through Albany, NY.

Contact the Museum for information on booking an engaging and interactive tour for groups of any age. Each tour is customized to educate and delight each particular group.