Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lincoln Brought to Life

Fascinating story about a fascinating exhibit of Lincolnalia from the WS Journal on 24 February.

With Charity for All.  Indiana Sate Museum. Through July 25. Alas, I shan't be getting to Indiana before summertime.

This is not quite the picture accompanying the newspaper story; alas, the story online did not have the picture.

Fortunately, I did find the picture online, at the Indiana State Museum website.

In 1905, Arthur Hall, president of the fledgling Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., wrote Robert Todd Lincoln, the lone surviving son of Abraham Lincoln, requesting permission to use the late president's image on advertising and stationery. Lincoln complied and graciously sent Hall an original photo of his father.

As decades passed, this gift, supplemented by the company's acquisition of thousands of additional pictures, prints and personal effects, grew into one of the world's great Lincoln collections: the Lincoln Museum, located in Fort Wayne, Ind. But in 1999 the business, reconstituted as Lincoln Financial Group, changed ownership and left Fort Wayne for Philadelphia. In 2008 LFG officially ended its financial support of the Lincoln Museum, which closed its doors shortly thereafter. LFG then decided to donate the museum's $20 million in artifacts to another institution and launched a search for a suitable recipient.

The company did not have far to look. Despite competition from the Smithsonian Institution and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, ultimately a Hoosier alliance of Fort Wayne's Allen County Public Library and the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis crafted a winning pitch and was awarded the collection in December, 2008.

Indiana State Museum

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