Presidents Day

(2.17) This statue of Abraham Lincoln stands in Roger Williams Park between the Natural History Museum and the Zoo. From “Hidden Treasure: Public Sculpture in Providence” by Robert Freeman and Vivienne Lasky:

The life-size bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln was executed by local sculptor Gilbert Franklin in 1954. It was the result of a trust bequeathed in 1922 by Henry W. Harvey, a prominent jewelry manufacturer in memory of his wife Georgina.

. . .  Under the terms of Harvey’s will, the sculptor was to be chosen by the executor of the estate and representatives of the Providence Art Club and the Rhode Island School of Design. Gilbert Franklin was chairman of the Fine Arts Division at RISD.

By the ’60s, Franklin was creating less figurative work including Orpheus Ascending on Frazier Terrace across from the RISD Museum, and Daybreak just a bit up Benefit Street on “RISD Beach.”

Looking up at the statue from the ground, that topknot of hair looks like a bird sitting atop Lincoln’s head. The long view is best.

Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, (directions)

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