Ed Hamilton to create Lincoln statue for Centre
February 23, 2012 By Michael Strysick, Director of Communications
Louisville artist Ed Hamilton will honor the link between
Abraham Lincoln and Centre College. The video above, taken
by the Louisville Courier-Journal, features Hamilton working
on the statue.
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, Ed Hamilton will create a statue to honor the link between Abraham Lincoln and Centre College.
The Centre connection to President Lincoln is through 1826 Centre alumnus John Todd Stuart, who served with Lincoln in the Black Hawk War, later provided Lincoln with his first law books and eventually became Lincoln’s first law partner. Hamilton’s sculpture depicts a young Lincoln reading the law book given to him by Stuart.
Among his many works of public art, Hamilton created “The Spirit of Freedom,” the African-American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C. His previous statue of Kentucky’s native son was for the Lincoln Memorial in Louisville’s Waterfront Park.
When completed, the 12-foot bronze statue, standing on a four-foot base, will be installed outside Crounse Hall, home to the Grace Doherty Library, faculty offices and classrooms.
The statue will be unveiled Sunday, Aug. 26, immediately following the College’s Opening Convocation ceremony featuring noted Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer. Later in the year, the Lincoln statue will be officially dedicated at a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 19, as part of the 2012 Homecoming festivities. Holzer, who has received numerous awards and honors, was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 2000 to serve as chair of the Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and received the National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush in 2008.
A Louisville Courier-Journal story by Larry Muhammmad about Hamilton and the Lincoln statue at Centre is available here.
The online version of Muhammad’s article includes the video above of Hamilton at work on the statue, as well as an extensive slideshow of photos of Hamilton in his studio. The section titled “Lincoln and Centre” is of particular historical interest and mentions numerous Stuart-Lincoln connections, including the fact that Mary Todd, Lincoln’s wife, was a first cousin of Stuart.
President John A. Roush couldn’t be happier about the project. He has taught a course on Lincoln and usually includes the president in a leadership course he teaches during the College’s CentreTerm in January.
Roush helped select the Lincoln quotation that will appear on the statue’s base: “I will study and be ready.” Roush used this quote during his State of the College address this year.
Since Crounse Hall is a hub of activity for the entire campus community, President Lincoln will be a permanent inspiration, whose connection to the College will now be forever memorialized.
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Centre College, founded in 1819 and chosen to host its second Vice Presidential Debate in 2012, is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges, at 42nd in the nation, and ranks 27th for best value among national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 34th among all the nation’s colleges and universities and has named Centre in the top five among all institutions of higher education in the South for three years in a row. Centre is also ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News for its study abroad program. For more, click here.