This version of Abraham Lincoln shows the figure standing on a tall, simple pedestal at the corner of Western and Lincoln Avenues near Lincoln Square. Shown on the eve of his presidency, he stands about to speak, next to a draped lectern, and wears his typical long coat, vest and foulard bow tie.
Photo ©: Jyoti Srivastava






Lloyd Ostendorf (1921-2000) / Avard Fairbanks 1897-1987)


Lincoln Square


The depiction of Abraham Lincoln as he appeared in 1860 on the eve of his departure for his presidency in Washington D.C. has been a familiar feature of Chicago’s Lincoln Square. Its creation was part of a contest initiated with the a State of Illinois entity known as the Lincoln Memorial Commission in collaboration with the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce. The winner was Lloyd Ostendorf of Dayton, Ohio, who since high school had assembled a large collection of historic photographs and images of Abraham Lincoln, and was considered an authority on Lincoln’s physical appearance over time. A commercial artist, he sketched and submitted a concept portraying Lincoln as he informally appeared in a photograph taken in 1860 outside his Springfield home. Ostendorf sought to portray Lincoln in a state of relaxed informality as suggested by the photograph, but modified the imagery to show him with arm raised as if ready to speak. Because Ostendorf had no experience in large-scale sculpture, execution of the monument was given to the contest’s third place winner, Dr. Avard Fairbanks, who was part of the art department at the University of Utah. As executed, the composition was significantly changed from Ostendorf’s winning sketch, but he likely guided Fairbanks’ work from his expertise in Lincoln imagery.