Abraham Lincoln Sculptor Emil Seletzs Bust Lincoln In 1860 Fords Theatre Washington Dc 2018

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Sculptor Emil Seletz's Bust 'Lincoln in 1860' -- Ford's Theatre Washington (DC) 2018

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posted by Ron Cogswell alias Ron Cogswell on Tuesday 6th of February 2018 05:35:54 PM

Per the Los Angeles Times (1990): "Sculptor Is Honestly Abe's Biggest Fan February 12, 1990|BOB POOL | TIMES STAFF WRITER Fifty years may seem like a long time for a brain surgeon to toil over one head. But not to Dr. Emil Seletz. That's how long the veteran Los Angeles neurosurgeon has been carving the cranium of one of the most celebrated Americans--Abraham Lincoln. Seletz is a self-taught sculptor whose lifelong goal has been to create detailed bronze busts of Lincoln. Today he plans to mark the anniversary of the 16th President's birth in 1809 by working on his grandest Lincoln head yet. It is a four-foot replica that he hopes to place in Ford's Theatre in Washington. Seletz, who retired from medical practice three months ago, will also celebrate his own birthday today. He plans to spend part of it working in his back-yard studio surrounded by 40 other busts of Lincoln he has shaped over the years. Declining to give his exact age, Seletz said with a grin, "I'm past 75." The short, courtly Seletz picked up his first glob of modeling clay after he spied a bust of Lincoln in the Capitol rotunda during a visit to Washington. He was a 23-year-old Philadelphia medical student at the time. His eyes sparkle as he remembers being left breathless by the beauty of artist Gutzon Borglum's work. "It simply enthralled me. It excited me beyond my ability to express it," recalls Seletz. "That head was remarkable. I ran back every holiday to take a look at it." When he could not find a copy of the Lincoln bust to purchase, he set out to shape one with his own hands. After finishing medical school and settling in Los Angeles, Seletz created one Lincoln head after another. There was Lincoln in Illinois in 1858. Lincoln the lawyer. Lincoln in 1860. Lincoln in 1861. Lincoln the President in 1863. A tired Lincoln shortly before his assassination in 1865 at Ford's Theatre. Contemporaries of Lincoln described him as homely, even ugly. Seletz disagrees. "He has the most beautiful face I've ever seen," he said. "More beautiful than any woman." Seletz said he has always sought to capture Lincoln's weary compassion in his busts, some of which have taken seven years to complete. Between Lincolns, Seletz has done other busts, including studies of medical figures and family members, as well as such personalities as Albert Einstein, Ludwig van Beethoven and Charles Dickens. He always returned to Honest Abe, however. "I guess I'm a little berserk on the subject," he said, pointing at Lincoln heads that have spilled out of his studio and onto a covered patio behind his Los Feliz home. "I'm obsessed." Said his wife of 40 years, Sylvia: "I've learned to live with them." Although some of his other busts have been placed in schools and at Los Angeles County Medical Assn. offices, only two of Seletz's Lincolns are on official public display. One is at a courthouse in San Jose. The other is at the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration." IMG_7111

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