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Lost photo of Lincoln to be exhibited

 12th Feb 2009

Abraham-LincolnA photo of President Abraham Lincoln, which was taken by photographer, Alexander Hesler in 1860, is being exhibited once more, after being restored.

The original glass plate portrait was shattered, but the current version is an ‘interpositive’ version from the original collodian wet-plate negative. This version was also damaged but was successfully restored in 2006 by an unnamed collector.

The 8x10 inch clone photograph was said to be Lincoln’s favourite of himself and shows him at the beginning of his presidency, without the beard or hat that became his trademarks. Lincoln himself is reported to have said, of the photo, “that looks better and expresses me better than I have ever seen; if it pleases the people then I am satisfied.”

Grant Cromer, an expert on photographs of the celebrated president, says the picture is the, “closest you will ever get to seeing Lincoln, short of putting your eyeballs on the man himself…
This is Lincoln in high definition. You can see more detail than you will ever see in a copy print.”

The picture is being shown at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester to commemorate 200 years since Lincoln’s birth.

Picture: Courtesy George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film