"Melancholy Lincoln"

Oil on canvas by Dwight D. Eisenhower

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This 1955 painting of Abraham Lincoln by Dwight D. Eisenhower is an exceptional example of a sitting president painting a portrait of a former president.

Sometime during Dwight Eisenhower’s tenure as the President of Columbia University (1948–1953), he began to paint. An artist, Thomas E. Stephens, was commissioned to paint a portrait of Mrs. Eisenhower and, during a moment when they were out of the room, the retired army general picked up the brush and dabbled. A few days later, Stephens sent Eisenhower an oil-painting kit. Over the years, including his time as President of the United States (1953–1961), Eisenhower found that he enjoyed painting tranquil landscapes and portraits of his family and past presidents. Eisenhower painted about 260 oils during the last 20 years of his life.


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"Melancholy Lincoln" Artifact from Dallas
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