For the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, the Merrymeeting Arts Center in Bowdoinham has opened its autumn show “Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address” featuring portraits of Lincoln by the late Carlo Pittore. The show will run through December 15th.
Interpreting famous photographic images of Lincoln, Pittore created Lincoln works of all sizes and complexity ranging from a full length, life size portrait to a half figure in profile. The Pittore portraits in the show are all striking black and white oils. There are two framed Pittore posters of Lincoln, one linking him to the modern civil rights movement, as well as a sketch and large oil both of the mortally wounded president being carried from Ford’s Theater.
The Carlo Pittore Foundation for the Figurative Arts has made eight works in this show available for sale. This is a rare opportunity for collectors to purchase an original by Pittore for prices ranging from $600 to $15,000.
A prolific artist who lived for decades in Bowdoinham, Pittore focused his energies on Lincoln when he received a residential fellowship to Galesburg Illinois (site of the fifth Lincoln-Douglas debate).
Six other area artists (Susan Drucker, Stephen Petroff, Leonard Meiselman, Emily Dobson, Mathew Pierce O’Donnell, Howard Solomon) have works in the show. Their interpretations of Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address range from a finely rendered graphite on paper head of Lincoln by Susan Drucker to whimsical assemblages by Howard Solomon and Drucker. Dobson has embroidered a large piece. Petroff, a close friend of Carlo Pittore, shows Carlo getting inspiration by touching a Lincoln image and a separate Lincoln portrait. Meiselman’s Lincoln visage captures the anguish of the man and the age in a portrait that seems to literally “weep” colors. Two small works take Lincoln’s spirit into O’Donnell’s symbolic world. These works range from $25 to $1450.
The Merrymeeting Arts Center gallery at 9 Main Street in Bowdoinham is open Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm or by appointment. Call (207) 370-5002 to arrange viewings or special visits.