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November 7, 2008 - July 5, 2009
Museum: Portrait Gallery
Location: 1st Floor, East Wing
The One Life gallery within the museum is devoted to the exploration of the life of one individual. No American has had more written or said about him than Abraham Lincoln. To both his contemporaries and posterity, Lincoln has been an endless subject of mystery and fascination. To commemorate the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, this exhibition provides many faces of Lincoln from the museum's collection, a collection that charts Lincoln's passage from a fresh-faced Illinois congressman to his grizzled isolation as president. One of the highlights is the rare appearance of the original cracked-plate portrait of Lincoln by Alexander Gardner. The exhibition also shows how Lincoln used the new art of photography to convey his image to Americans, letting them see in him what they most desired.
See "Around the Mall" in the December 2008 Smithsonian magazine: p. 34; see the February 2009 issue, pp.32-38.
Note: Gardner's original cracked-plate portrait of Lincoln will be on display through Lincoln's birthday, Feb. 12, after that a replica will be on view through the duration of the exhibition.