Land O’ Lincoln – Mary Robnett

Honest Abe was a heck of a lot more than just the 16th president of the United States… Among the many representations… he was a body builder, warrior, zombie hunter, and pirate… just to name a few.

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4 responses to “Land O’ Lincoln – Mary Robnett

  1. The range of ways Abraham Lincoln gets recast in this collection of collages, re-drawings, and digital manipulations is so arbitrary that it becomes hard to recollect what his ideas or historical contributions were, much less who he was.

    As a collection, this presents enough examples and variations to reveal a cultural phenomena (the playful manipulation of images of famous people). I find most of the images fairly irritating, in that they generally aren’t very good drawings, collages or manipulations, and the various recastings mostly don’t really connect very strongly with the person that is being parodied. Or, in some cases, they seem to be more generally about playing with what a stern old white guy looks like doing something atypical (Abe holding a boom box) and not really about Lincoln specifically. As a collection, this works just fine, but the images generally lack criticality and a deeper sense of purpose.

    For me, a stronger example of this kind of parody, would be someone like John Heartfield and his manipulations of Hitler (produced while Hitler was in power, and thus at a far greater risk than going back hundreds of years to find a target for play):

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2308/2401871300_94321b62b7.jpg?v=0

    Or Robbie Conal’s incisive protest posters:


    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/220/452065268_a81c894b89.jpg?v=0

  2. I sort of disagree with Marc in that I think the collection is simply playful. None of the images are attempting to be political cartoons, even satire. They are simply taking a familiar image and goofing around. That said, the collection itself does point to a trend that, yes, although the image of Lincoln is ubiquitous (and here goes a real broad generalization) we Americans do lack a sense of our own history.

    Lincoln drew much criticism and parody in his day:

    http://www.lib.niu.edu/2001/iht820129.html

    Anti-Union(Lincoln) sentiments are more difficult to find than anti-Confederate, echoing the meme that to the victor go the spoils of war. Much confederate propaganda was destroyed. See the notes on the top two items of this website:

    http://www.theswedishtiger.com/usstamps/patriotic1.htm

    Prices are occasionally, though not always, an accurate barometer of rarity.

  3. Those illustrations are great!

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