In recognition of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, UVU President Matthew Holland and Associate Dean Dan Fairbanks will give a unique lecture on the life and perceptions of the United States’ 16th president. President Holland, a renowned scholar on early American political development, will deliver thoughts on historical perceptions of Lincoln while Fairbanks, a skilled artist, simultaneously sculpts a life-size portrait bust of the former commander-in-chief.
The one-hour lecture will be held at noon Friday, Feb. 12 in UVU’s Ragan Theater. Following the lecture, a reception honoring Lincoln will be held at UVU’s Woodbury Art Museum, which is located at the University Mall in Orem. Both events are free and open to the public.
During the lecture, President Holland will share insights on Lincoln from the perspective of a lifelong student of early America. Fairbanks, who comes from a long line of artists, will join him on the stage to sculpt a bust of Lincoln throughout the lecture. Afterward, the reception at the Woodbury Art Museum will highlight a collection of historically important statues of Abraham Lincoln, including works by American sculptors Augustus St. Gaudens and Avard T. Fairbanks.
“These depictions of Abraham Lincoln have special historical significance, and we are delighted to share them with the community on a day when we remember the nation’s 16th president,” Fairbanks said.
Lincoln was born on Feb. 12, 1809, in rural Kentucky. He served as president from March 1861 until he was assassinated in April 1865. Perhaps his most notable accomplishment was preserving the union in the face of unprecedented political divisiveness and civil war. As a scholar, Holland has argued that Lincoln’s blend of Puritan and democratic insights helped him pursue an agenda of civic charity in spite of the considerable challenges he faced while in office.
“Abraham Lincoln is one of the transcendent figures in American history,” Holland said. “He understood the importance of civic bonds, and he dedicated his presidency to preserving that ideal. He eschewed individualism, insisting instead on charity for all. Without his dedication and perseverance, this country would be considerably different today.”