SPRINGFIELD'S SCULPTURES,            Carl and Roberta Volkmann
MONUMENTS, AND PLAQUES              cvolk@aol.com
Moynihan's Lincoln
After sitting over the front door of
the old Carnegie Library in
downtown Springfield, Illinois, for
seventy years, the bronze bust of
Abraham Lincoln by Frederick
Moynihan was the first item
removed from building before it
was razed in 1974.  Moynihan was
an American sculptor although he
was born on the Isle of Guernsey.  
He studied at the Royal Academy in
London before he immigrated to
the United States.  He specialized
in sculpting military figures of the
American Civil War.
Over the years, the bust had contracted bronze disease.  The
original patina had eroded away exposing the bronze to
corrosion by the elements.  Rainwater, pollutants, and freezing
and thawing created a coat of copper carbonate, which
removed copper from the casting.  On the back of Lincoln’s
neck, some small holes appeared where the copper carbonate
had completely eroded through the casting.

Bob Evans, then Art Curator of the Illinois State Museum,
volunteered to restore the bust.  Utilizing the facilities of the
museum as well as their training and experience, Mr. Evans
and his assistant, Bill Weedman, donated their services.  
Through the use of an electrochemical process, details that
had disappeared over the years emerged.  The reapplication of
a stable patina and an application of wax completed the
restoration.

The restored bust now can be seen in the third-floor
Sangamon Valley Collection of the new Lincoln Library, opened
and dedicated in 1977.  Here historic Lincoln and Springfield
documents and materials are housed.  The bust is the most
valuable and significant artifact saved from the old Carnegie
Library.
www.arcadiapublishing.com
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