Abraham Lincoln Life Mask

Life Mask of Abraham Lincoln Made February 11, 1865 - Displayed at Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History

Life Mask of Abraham Lincoln Made February 11, 1865 - Displayed at Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History

Abraham Lincoln’s life mask is on display at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History. The following information is from the museum’s signs accompanying the display.

Mill’s Mask of Lincoln
Gift of Theodore Mills, the artist’s son, 1889
On February 11, 1865, about two months before his death, Lincoln permitted sculptor Clark Mills to make this life mask of his face. This was the second and last life mask made of Lincoln.

Written on His Face
The strain of the presidency was written on Abraham Lincoln’s face. His secretary, John Hay, remarked on the dramatic difference in Lincoln’s two life masks. He noted that the first (displayed earlier in the exhibition) “is a man of fifty-one, and young for his years. . . . It is a face full of life, of energy, of vivid aspiration. . . . The other is so sad and peaceful in its infinite repose . . . a look as of one on whom sorrow and care had done their worst without victory is on all the features.”

This life mask of Abraham Lincoln was on display in the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History. Click Museum of American History to see the StationStart.com entry about the museum and its location. Exhibits in the various Smithsonian Institution Museums do change from time to time, so that any specific item may not be on display at all times.

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Closest Metro Station: The Federal Triangle Metro Station on the Blue and Orange Lines isĀ nearest to the Constitution Avenue NW entrance to the Smithsonian Institution Museum of American History.

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