You’ve compared the photos. Is being President of the United States aging Barack Obama? Are there more gray hairs on that head than before? If so, it’s not the first time that the nation’s highest office has taken a visible toll on its occupant.
When Abraham Lincoln became President in 1861, he was a fresh-faced senator, much like today’s Commander-in-Chief. But the issue of slavery and division of the Union weighed heavily, and in portraits taken just before Lincoln's 1865 assassination, his face reflects the enormity of those responsibilities.
The brand new Mask of Lincoln portfolio set, a collaboration between SITES and the National Portrait Gallery, allows a glimpse at this striking transition. Visit our Lincoln website to access .pdf files of the portfolio’s pages and see for yourself. Better yet, print and cut out small thumbnail images to create a flip book and watch Lincoln age before your eyes. And be sure to visit our Facebook page's discussion board to tell us what you think!
Time to reevaluate your Presidential aspirations?
To make your own Lincoln flip book:
1. Go to www.sites.si.edu/lincoln to access the .pdf files of the portfolio
2. Print out the portfolio's back cover with the ten thumbnail images of Lincoln
3. Cut out the images, including the red space to the left side of each photograph (this is where you will staple it together)
4. Put the portraits in order, and stack them so that each edge sticks out slightly further than the one before
5. Staple the pages together in the red area on the left side, and you're ready to start flipping!
- Marcie Sprankle, Project Director
The Mask of Lincoln portfolio was made possible by a grant from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.