Art Can Come in Many Shapes, Sizes, Creative Writing

Excerpt from Creative Writing :

Art can come in many shapes, sizes, and mediums, yet one thing that all art has in common is its ability to connect to individuals and enable them to experience catharsis, that is illicit an emotional response. Some of the most awe-inspiring works of art are architectural such as the Lincoln Memorial, which bookmarks the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The Lincoln Memorial is impressive and its sheer magnitude and size was unexpected. Walking up to the memorial, I realized that it was much larger than I had anticipated and that much like a temple, the actual memorial is located at the top of a series of steps. It was nothing like looking at the back of a penny or a five-dollar bill. The Lincoln Memorial successfully combining the concepts of form and function through its structure (Pearson Publication, Inc., 2009, p. 164). The memorial itself was designed by Henry Bacon, a noted Beaux-Art architect, and was designed to look like a Greek temple. In a combination of form and function, the memorial is surrounded by 36 white Doric columns that are representative of the 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death. Also, the Lincoln Memorial has carved into its outside border the names of all the states in the United States. Like many ancient Greek temples, the Lincoln Memorial is constructed to "worship" and honor President Abraham Lincoln for his contributions to the country and society during his time in office. Bacon intentionally modeled the memorial after the Parthenon and maintained that it would be fitting to model the memorial after Greek architecture, as Greece was the birthplace of construction of the memorial building, which further symbolically ties the monument to the country and its people. Although the stones come from different parts of the United States, it is difficult to pick out which stones came from where as they seamlessly come together in this grand monument.

While Bacon designed the temple, Daniel Chester French is responsible for the design and construction of the statue of Lincoln that resides within. The statue of Lincoln sits in the middle of the room with Lincoln himself seated upon a white armchair. The manner in which he is seated, and the location of the statue, makes it appear as though Lincoln is seated upon a throne of some sort. The giant, 19-foot tall statue of a seated Lincoln commands respect, yet it is not overbearing, nor does it seem to be comical despite its gargantuan size.

The artistic contribution to the construction and design of the Lincoln Memorial is not limited to sculpture. Within the memorial are several murals, which further highlight the impact that Lincoln had on the country and its people. The artist Jules Guerin was especially chosen by Bacon to paint two murals within the memorial. Although the murals have faded over time, the symbols that they represent endure to this day. The mural entitled "Emancipation," located above the transcript of the Gettysburg…

Sources Used in Documents:


National Parks Service. (2012). Lincoln Memorial design individuals. Accessed 21 August 2012,


Pearson Publications Inc. (2009). Chapter 5: Art. The Art of Being Human: The Humanities As A

Technique For Living, pp. 114-169.

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