Obama Is No Lincoln
ROCHESTER, NY – Seated by a window in the Illinois state Capitol in 1860, a beardless Abraham Lincoln held still 25 seconds for a classic campaign portrait of the soon-to-be president. It was undoubtedly a personal favorite.
“That looks better and expresses me better than any I have ever seen,” Lincoln said in a letter to photographer Alexander Hesler. “If it pleases the people, I am satisfied.”
He should be. It’s a gorgeous picture. The long-lost transparency is going on exhibit tomorrow at the George Eastman House Museum in Rochester.
Apparently the collector who had the picture didn’t completely realize it’s value. He learned when he sent the picture to the museum for repair in 2006. He remains anonymous.
“This is the closest you will ever get to seeing Lincoln, short of putting your eyeballs on the man himself,” said Grant Romer, the museum’s director of photograph conservation.
The picture was taken June 3, 1860 before Lincoln was elected President, and is remarkable for it’s “high definition and tonal range qualities.” Even in the crude reproduction seen on-line, you can tell that’s true.