Hey, Show Some Respect to Lincoln & Borglum!

Getting "picky" with Borglum's Lincoln

Getting "picky" with Borglum's Lincoln

Borglum's Lincoln with well-polished nose
Borglum’s Lincoln with well-polished nose
Outside Abraham Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield, Gutzon Borglum’s famous head of Lincoln serves as a centerpiece. Fortunately, it’s placed in a spot that serves as the perfect photograph opportunity for visitors at the site. I don’t know if it’s placement where it is was intentional, but it certainly is a “draw” for the crowd. In fact, you’ll notice that Mr. Lincoln’s nose (which was quite prominent in life) still has a “shine” to it unmatched by the rest of the piece. I can only guess that the “shine” on Lincoln’s nose has resulted from people touching it for years. Probably the oil on human skin has caused it? Of course, in an art gallery any touching of a work of art is a “no-no.” I guess in this particular venue it’s considered okay. At any rate, Lincoln’s nose is an attraction! I think Gutzon Borglum would be pleased. ¬†On a deeper level, it’s interesting that people want to touch it. Are they feeling some connection to Lincoln when they touch it? Is there some “good luck charm” thing associated with doing so? Have I touched it? Of course! I think Lincoln would consider the matter very funny. He was well aware that he had an “interesting” nose-probably considered it not attractive. As far as picking Lincoln’s nose-well that’s a bit much. Some some respect for Lincoln and Borglum-just rub it!
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7 Responses to “Hey, Show Some Respect to Lincoln & Borglum!”

  1. B. Nash says:

    You meant to leave a comment Bird?

  2. B. Nash says:

    Moriah, Is that you? Thank you. How long have you been checking out the Lincoln blog? I was going to talk and see Jerry but things got crazy here. I’m so glad to hear from you! Nice comment about the nose being “hooked.” Wow!

  3. Moriah says:

    Haha! Great info on the nose. I was totally hooked. : )

  4. Dave Wiegers says:

    About the only thing they do is wax it in order to try and protect the finish.
    When I was in Boise, ID last month to dedicate a new copy of a Borglum statue of Lincoln sitting on a bench (original in Newark, NJ), the artist put a final coat of wax on the statue the day before it was dedicated. If there is not some kind of coating, the bronze statue will start to weather and will eventually take on the green color that we are all familiar with.

  5. B. Nash says:

    Dave, as always, thanks for the “inside” info you provide! I wonder if there is any kind of maintenance done on the nose?

  6. Dave Wiegers says:

    I was told by a well placed source at the Tomb that one time the statue was raised up so the public couldn’t rub the nose since the oils and acids were damaging the statue. The public outcry was so satrident that the bust was lowered so the public could rub Old Abe’s nose once again.

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