The Mulvane Art Museum has a unique opportunity to acquire a limited edition bronze of Abraham Lincoln, titled The Face of Lincoln, by renowned American Sculptor Robert Merrell Gage (1892-1981).
Robert Merrel Gage was born in Topeka, Kansas. He studied at Washburn College under Frances Davis Whittemore, who encouraged him to become a sculptor. In 1911 he traveled to New York where he studied at the Art Students League and the Robert Henri School of Art. Upon completing his studies in 1914, Gage became an assistant to the sculptor Gutzon Borglum, best known for sculpting the monumental visages of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. Gage taught art at Washburn from 1915-17. In 1918, his statue of Abraham Lincoln, his first significant commission, was installed at the southeast corner of the grounds of the state capitol in Topeka. In 1955, Gage’s film, “The Face of Lincoln,” won an Academy Award in the two-reel short subject category.
The Mulvane Art Museum seeks to raise $8,500 to acquire The Face of Lincoln. We firmly believe that this work will be a valuable addition to the Mulvane Art Museum’s permanent collection, complementing the works that we already have by Gage including a wood sculpture titled Walt Whitman, 1923-37, and a bronze relief titled Frances Davis Whittemore, 1937. Gage’s lifelong interest in Lincoln, and Washburn University’s history with the legacy of Abraham Lincoln lend further credence to the importance of adding the work to the collection. Further, we believe that the acquisition will engage the Washburn and Topeka community, given the artist’s significant artistic and cultural contributions to the university and early twentieth-century art. Please help us acquire this unique work! For more information about this artwork, please click this link.
Any donations above the goal of $8,500 will go toward the general fund for the Mulvane Art Museum.