NPG Acquires Portrait of Lincoln

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The National Portrait Gallery purchases the last portrait done of Abraham Lincoln as well as 5,400 negatives from the Civil War era. Lincoln's portrait was done by photographer Alexander Gardner and is also known as the "cracked-plate" portrait due to a crack on the left side of the print. The items were purchased with the help of Congress from the descendants of Frederick Hill Meserve.


  • Gardner, Alexander 1821-1882
  • Lincoln, Abraham 1809-1865
  • National Portrait Gallery (U.S.)
  • United States Congress


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Moeser, Vicki. "Sitting Pretty at the National Portrait Gallery." Smithsonian News Service. August 1991.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Acquisitions
  • Photography
  • Art
  • Museums
  • History
  • Museums--Acquisitions
  • Art--History
  • Art objects
  • Photographs

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