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The newly restored statue, “Abraham Lincoln:  The Man” at the Jackson District Library Carnegie Branch.  Photos by Jeff Steers, JTV News.

(June 22, 2022 4:23 PM) A statue of President Abraham Lincoln and the wood base it rests on was recently restored and relocated to the front lobby of the Carnegie Library in downtown Jackson.

Jackson District Library officials worked with  B&C Woodworks of Rives Junction to restore the walnut plinth that holds the statue – a 39-inch tall bronze casting that traces its roots to Chicago, New York, and Jackson at the turn of the 20th Century.

“We always loved this work of art at the library, and after a recent report on its provenance was completed, we thought restoring this piece and moving it to a more prominent location was appropriate,” JDL Director Sara Tackett said.

Chicago’s Lincoln Park statue by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Photo courtesy Jackson District Library.

The statuette is a copy of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ colossal monument to Lincoln titled “Abraham Lincoln: The Man,” a 12-foot statue dedicated in Chicago’s Lincoln Park in 1887. Likely cast by Tiffany Studios in New York, the statuette was created posthumously by Saint-Gaudens’ widow, Augusta.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art owns an earlier casting of the statuette, although no one knows for certain how many of the small copies were cast, officials at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in New Hampshire have confirmed.

The statue was paid for with $1,400 raised in 1904 during the 50th anniversary event celebrating the founding of the Republican Party, according to a Jackson Citizen Patriot article from 1915.

Library staff at Carnegie Library have organized Lincoln reenactor Kevin Wood to read Lincoln’s famous “New Birth of Freedom” speech and provide information on the “Under the Oaks” anti- slavery convention held in Jackson in 1854 at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 9, at the library.

Brian Cox, owner of B&C Woodworks, said he jumped at this particular restoration opportunity.

“It was a privilege to work with the library on the restoration of a piece of history,” Cox said. “Due to the condition of the pedestal, we had to partially remove the finish and stain-match to the original color before re-applying the original shellac finish to restore the pedestal back to what it would have looked like a century ago.”

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