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We Celebrate Mr. Lincoln's 200th Birthday

Feb. 12 - October 2009
Ground Floor Lobby

February 12, 2009 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln and the Michigan State University Museum features "We Celebrate Mr. Lincoln's 200th Birthday" through October 2009 in the Ground Floor Lobby.

The exhibition includes images of the most beloved and honored president of the United States. Lincoln signed the Morrill Act which created a Land-grant System to provide funding for colleges in the U.S. It made possible the establishment of The Agricultural College of Michigan, which became Michigan State University.

The exhibit draws largely from the Lincoln collection of Jewell F. Stevens, which was donated to MSU on Feb. 12, 1959, the Lincoln Sesquicentennial. In addition to artifacts and prints which came to the MSU Museum, the Stevens collection contains more than 1000 books, pamphlets, manuscripts and maps donated to the MSU Library.

Other highlights include:
-A plaster bust of Lincoln as a younger man, before he grew his trademark beard. Avard T. Fairbanks sculpted it in 1942. Fairbanks (1897 - 1987), was a prolific American sculptor, who earned a Ph. D. in anatomy from University of Michigan and taught sculpture there for a time.
-A plaster statue called "The Council of War" represents President Lincoln consulting with Edwin M. Stanton, his Secretary of War, and General Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War. The original was created in 1868 by sculptor John Rogers and the plaster figures were still being made through 1895. This was Rogers' most popular group, seen in Victorian parlors across the country.

-A carving of Abe Lincoln by Vermont wood carver Ely Hannah, created in 1963. He also did furniture restoration for Jacqueline Kennedy in the White House. This item is on loan from Curator Val Roy Berryman.
-A facsimile of the letter of sympathy that Lincoln wrote in 1864 to "Mrs. Bixby," who lost five sons in the Civil War. Numerous replicas of the letter have been printed over the years.