Drawings Group • 5
Title: Tad Lincoln / Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp, Always Out of Reach
On the evening of April 14th, 1865, Good Friday, the space between the proscenium arches of Messrs. Ford and Grover suddenly cracked wide open. Twelve year old Tad fell into the cold darkness of reality and away from the brightness of youth. For six years his heart and soul grew in spite, and perhaps unaware of life's confinements. He was a loving son; his father's tadpole and his mother's beau ideal. On the fifteenth day of July, 1871 at 7:30 in the morning, Tad stepped off of life's path. His physicians termed the cause - "compression of the heart".
Category: Mixed Media Drawing
Date of Work: January 1998
Size Framed: 55 1/2" x 44"
Size Unframed: 49 3/4" x 38"
Medium: Pencil, Colored Pencil, Pastel, Collage, Watercolor, Acrylic and Paste Wax
Further Information: Thomas Lincoln was the fourth child of Abraham and Mary. Born April 4th 1853 he entered the world with a cleft palette and boundless energy. Mr. Lincoln nicknamed him "Tad" because he squirmed constantly like a tadpole. Tad's childhood was spent as a rambunctious, fun loving, prankster. Qualities which his father tolerated and encouraged. The box around Tad's head represents his mother's control and constriction throughout his life and the split fashion plate, Mary herself. The structure at the top of the frame is the Illinois State House draped for President Lincoln's return for burial. At the time of the assassination in Ford's Theatre, Tad was attending a production of "Aladdin" at Grover's Theatre not far away. When the news of his father's shooting was announced on stage at Grover's, Tad and his escort, White House door keeper - Alphonso Donn, ran from the theatre and returned to the White House. The poppy represents sleep, dreaming and fantasy. The photograph of Tad was his official mourning picture - the photographer is not credited in the source. In the complicated story of the lives of the Lincoln family, tragedy visited over and over again. The fantasy of Aladdin's Lamp was only a diversion and not a replacement for the personal strength that was a necessary on the journey of each member's path.
Collection: Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia