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The Story Behind the Lincoln Memorial Statue: Daniel Chester French and Ambrose Swasey

Discover the story behind the iconic Lincoln Memorial Statue in Washington DC. Learn how Daniel Chester French and Ambrose Swasey created the beloved statue, which has stood in the Lincoln Memorial since 1922.
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We thought this was a cool shot. Daniel Chester French is in his studio working on a bust of Ambrose Swasey, an industrialist born in 1846. Oh, by the way, a model of the statue of Lincoln that would eventually end up in the Lincoln Memorial is in the background. French completed Lincoln’s statue in 1920, and the Memorial opened in 1922.

Picture of Daniel Chester French in his studio with Lincoln Memorial statue in the background
Sculptor Daniel Chester French is shown in his studio working on a bust of industrialist Ambrose Swaysey, with a model of French’s statue for the Lincoln Memorial in the background. (Daniel Chester French family papers)

Here is a picture of French’s work, now sitting in the Lincoln Memorial.

The Lincoln Memorial Statue
The Lincoln Memorial Statue

Check out this recent post of Lincoln’s statue overlooking the “I Have a Dream Speech”.

Both photos from the Library of Congress.

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