Library JournalAt first glance, this subject appears extraordinarily dry, but Holzer, an expert in the area of Lincoln iconography and editor of The Lincoln-Douglas Debates ( LJ 2/15/93), has labored to provide a ``human face'' to the material. Spanning the period from 1775 to 1882, the prints discussed document the ``metamorphosis of Washington and Lincoln from products of our history to products of our imagination.'' Included are images of Washington as portrayed during his lifetime and deified after death; Lincoln as a flesh-and-blood frontier politician, the Great Emancipator, and the Martyr of Liberty; and ``Columbia's Noblest Sons,'' portraying the two leaders together. Political cartoons and photographic portraits also number among the 143 illustrations. Annotated footnotes serve in place of a bibliography. Recommended for academic collections serving a well-informed audience with a particular interest in American political history and print collecting.-- Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Historic Hudson Valley, Tarrytown, N.Y.
Margaret FlanaganHolzer, an art historian specializing in the iconography of Abraham Lincoln, has compiled and analyzed an outstanding number of engravings, lithographs, prints, and portraits of both George Washington and Lincoln. As an individual, Washington was portrayed in an idealistic fashion as the heroic Father of Our Country and the architect of our national destiny. In like fashion, Lincoln was most often depicted as the Great Emancipator and the preserver of the Union. When both Washington and Lincoln were elevated to the exalted status of secular saints, patriotic and romanticized representations of these two mythological figures posed together became extremely common and popular. The author offers an in-depth examination of the cultural and political symbolism evidenced in the late-nineteenth-century cult of the "father savior."
BooknewsHolzer, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, surveys the many images of The Father of Our Country and The Great Emancipator, noting the attitude they intended to convey, the differences between them, and the evolution of both their form and message. Most of the portrayals are heroic, but some political cartoons are included from Lincoln's time. Well illustrated in black-and- white. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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