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One Life: The Mask of Lincoln

In this online Keynote address based on a current exhibition of the same name at the National Portrait Gallery, historian and exhibition curator David C. Ward examines how Abraham Lincoln used the new art of photography to convey his image to Americans, letting them see in him what they most desired. Like the exhibit, Ward's session draws on the Portrait Gallery's extensive collection of Lincoln portraits, a collection that charts Lincoln’s passage from a fresh-faced Illinois congressman to his grizzled isolation as president. The session will be of interest to teachers and students of history at any level, and to anyone who is intrigued by the power of images and the media to "brand" ideas, connect with people, and move public opinion. What we can learn from Lincoln's use of imagery is especially relevant today, and this presentation will provide many faces of Lincoln for participants to ponder.

David Ward
David C. Ward
National Portrait Gallery
David C. Ward is an historian at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., where he has curated exhibitions on Walt Whitman and Abraham Lincoln. He is currently planning an exhibition on John Coltrane (opening 2010). He is the author of Charles Wilson Peale: Art and Selfhood in the Early Republic (University of California Press, 2004) and many other scholarly publications on American culture and art.