News Release - January 26, 2009

For Immediate Release: January 26, 2009


Michelle Jeffers (415) 557-4282

Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man for All Times

Exhibition on Lincoln's life and legacy

on display at San Francisco Main Library

Public knowledge about President Abraham Lincoln is dominated by a series of iconic images: the son of an illiterate frontier farmer who taught himself to read; the savior of the Union; the Great Emancipator; the martyred leader. In a new exhibition, Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man for All Times, on display February 5-March 5 in the Skylight Gallery at the Main Library, visitors are invited to look beyond the myths surrounding the 16th president.

Making its first West Coast appearance, the remarkable exhibition presents Lincoln's own words in speeches, letters and proclamations that provide a deeper understanding of his life, accomplishments and legacy. The exhibition features six sections or panels on Lincoln that include: Young Mr. Lincoln, Paths to the Presidency, Civil War President, The Union Preserved/The President Assassinated and Lincoln's Legacy.

To accompany the exhibition, the Library is displaying a selection of materials from its own collections on Lincoln as well as other significant persons and events of the Civil War era. The diverse range of materials includes an 1852 edition of Uncle Tom's Cabin; Carleton Watkins' photographs of Lincoln memorial services in San Francisco; and a lithograph commemorating California's ratification of the 13th Amendment. The impact of the Civil War on California and, specifically, San Francisco is also spotlighted in the exhibition, with archival material detailing the activities of Thomas Starr King, a Unitarian minister in San Francisco whom Lincoln credited with keeping California in the Union. More contemporary items focus on the visible reminders in San Francisco of our 16th President.

Note to editors -- please include this credit information:

Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man for All Times is a national traveling exhibition organized by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The traveling exhibition has been made possible in part through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to expanding American understanding of human experience and cultural heritage.

A number of related free programs will be held at the Library in conjunction with this exhibition:

Thursdays at Noon: Film Series on Lincoln

Feb. 5, 12, 19 & 26

Koret Auditorium, Main Library

Lincoln and San Francisco - Historian John William Templeton

Feb. 8, 2-4 p.m.

Koret Auditorium, Main Library

Mary: A Novel - Janis Cooke Newman discusses her book. Book sale and signing to follow.

Feb. 10, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Koret Auditorium, Main Library

Lincoln, Thomas Starr King, San Francisco and the Civil War - Historian Charles Fracchia discusses the role of Lincoln and the Civil War in California with special focus on the contributions of Thomas Starr King and the duels of California.

Feb. 24, 6 p.m.

Latino/Hispanic Community Meetings Room, Main Library

The Slaves' War - Andrew Ward - Author and historian discusses his book

Feb. 26, 6 p.m.

Koret Auditorium, Main Library

Children's Programs:

Make Your Own Silhouette - Crafts for children. Space limited to 20, call for reservations (415) 355-5700.

Feb. 14, 2009, 3 p.m.

Ortega Branch Library

Renowned Storyteller J.P Myrick - Presents famed humanitarian and abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Feb. 17, 10:30 a.m.

Fisher Children's Center, Main Library

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