Abraham Lincoln’s Kentucky
16×20″ Matted Giclee Print
The original collage of this print is based on the Lincoln Bicentennial theme of “I too am a Kentuckian:” pencil drawings of Lincoln’s family, friends and important Kentuckians are situated near the locations associated with them. His ancestors crossed the Cumberland Gap on the Wilderness Trail from Virginia, so there you see his father, Thomas Lincoln and mother, Nancy Hanks. The map of Kentucky shows the important locations where the Lincolns and the Hanks families settled. His wife Mary Todd and her family were from Lexington and close friend Joshua Speed lived in Louisville. The blue line is the northern border, the Ohio River.
When I traveled to Hodgenville to photograph Knob Creek Farm, and walked the land of his birthplace I had a strong sense that the land itself was of great influence in developing his character. I accentuate this with a colored pencil drawing of the farm along the bottom of the collage and by the transparency of his portraits. The small fern is from his still faithful spring.
It is significant that one of his most quoted statements about slavery, “I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think and feel.”, was written in a letter to Albert G Hodges, editor of the Frankfort, KY, Commonwealth, April 4, 1864. Using a quill pen, I wrote this out as near to his hand writing as possible with walnut ink.
Giclée print on archival paper using archival ink is tested to last 200 years.
Kathleen O’Brien received professional development funding through the Kentucky Arts Council, a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet, supported by state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.