Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lincoln at the Great Western Railroad Depot in Springfield

Here's another from "Lincoln and his Boys".
The speech I quoted from in the previous post was spoken at the Great Western Railroad Depot in Springfield, Illinois. The depot is still there, preserved as it was on the day that Lincoln left.
When I visited Springfield with Rosemary Wells, we sought it out, and I took hundreds of photos from every angle, knowing that I would be illustrating this scene of Lincoln and Willie returning from Chicago. However there was no way I could make the composition work and also show the depot in the background.
This was a case where it was important to jettison the great research I had done for the sake of a better picture.
That kind of background research is never wasted though. It meant a lot to me to stand where Lincoln had been, and to see some of the things he and his family had seen.
Here is a shot of the depot as it is to-day.


Susan said...

I wish old buildings could speak; imagine the stories they'd have.

I like your Lincoln, especially in this piece: he's often thought of as very solemn and stately perhaps thanks to the old photographs, but he had such a quick sense of humour it's nice to see him relaxed and with his family.

Is there any significance in the "291" on the railway car? Or was it a random number? (I don't know why I wonder about such details in illustrations, but I always do)

PJ Lynch said...

Hi Susan
The 291 is random,(or maybe it represents something deep down in my unconscious)
The details of the train were thoroughly researched, but in the end I could only make an approximation of what that particular train might have looked like. That's all I'm looking for. It doesn't do to let the quest for authenticity take over entirely.
Glad you like my Lincoln.
He's one subject I'd really like to return to
All the best