Lincoln statue joins Municipal Art Collection

·2 min read

Jun. 22—Abraham Lincoln, who has been seated downtown in front of Owensboro City Hall for about two years, will remain there for everyone to see.

The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art announced Monday the statue "Lincoln" has been permanently acquired for the city's Municipal Art Collection. The statue was on a two-year lease to the city.

The city is purchasing the statue in partnership with the Marilyn and William Young Foundation. The city and the Young Foundation each paid 50% of the statue's $49,400 cost.

"The Young Foundation has been exceedingly generous," said OMFA Director Mary Bryan Hood Monday. "Several of the pieces we already have had been purchased for the city by the Young Foundation."

The collection is made up of nine works scattered across town, such as at the Daviess County Courthouse and at the Owensboro Convention Center.

"All of the pieces have been purchased by individuals, foundations and corporations and gifted to the city," Hood said.

The Lincoln statue was created by Mark Lundeen, a Loveland, Colorado sculptor. Lundeen's work was chosen to enter the city's collection through the Fine Art Museum's "Riverartes: The Art of Placemaking" exhibit, which the museum holds every two years.

"He is nationally and even internationally known, so we were really pleased to add his work to our collection," Hood said.

Mark Lundeen is not the first member of his family to have art in the Municipal Art Collection: Lundeen's brother, George Lundeen, has two works in the collection, including the state of city native and motorsports legend Nicky Hayden at the convention center.

Public art works like the Lincoln statue are "invaluable cultural tourism," Hood said.

Plans are already being made for the next "Riverartes" exhibit, which will be held in the spring of 2022.

"We have plans underway," Hood said, adding that the museum will invite artists from across the county to make proposals for the exhibit. The museum is considering a suggestion that artists consider doing works commemorating prominent Owensboro natives, Hood said.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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