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Emancipation Proclamation, The - By Mort Kunstler

Historical Information

Lincoln’s cabinet members were the only witnesses when the president signed into law the Emancipation Proclamation on New Year’s Day, 1863. Seated with Lincoln is Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles. Immediately behind the president is Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. Secretary of State William H. Seward stands at the far right.

“If my name ever goes into history,” Lincoln told his cabinet, “it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.”

Lincoln took a bold risk in declaring the war to be a social revolution as well, but he was convinced that the nation had to take a meaningful step forward by making American democracy untainted by human bondage. The contest was no longer only to erase a boundary line from the map. Henceforth, it would also be a war fought to erase a word – slavery – from the American experience.

An aged slave preacher described emancipation in a single prayer: “Lord, we ain’t what we oughta be. We ain’t what we want to be. We ain’t what we goin’ to be. But thank God, we ain’t what we was.”

Mort Künstler's Comments

In doing the research for this painting, I worked from the notes of Francis B. Carpenter who was given access to the White House and actually had Lincoln pose for him. The table, chairs, rug, and even the wallpaper are accurate. I naturally silhouetted Lincoln against the light of the window to have the viewer focus on the center of interest: the president.

Giclée Canvas Prints
Reproduction technique: Giclées are printed with the finest archival pigmented inks on canvas.
Each print is numbered and signed by the artist and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Signature Edition 20" x 20"
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 100
Signed Artist's Proof • Edition Size: 10

Classic Edition 26 x 26”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 50
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 10

Premier Edition 33” x 33”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 15
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 5

Collector's Edition 41” x 41”
Signed & Numbered • Edition Size: 5
Signed Artist’s Proof • Edition Size: 2

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Original price $520.00 - Original price $2,995.00
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Emancipation Proclamation, The - By Mort Kunstler: Signature Canvas Unframed