Abraham Lincoln, who has been sitting downtown in front of Owensboro City Hall for about two years, will stay there for everyone to see.
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Arts announced Monday that the “Lincoln” statue has been permanently acquired for the town’s municipal art collection. The statue was on a two-year lease to the city.
The city buys 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 extremely generous,” OMFA Director Mary Bryan Hood said on Monday. “Many of the pieces we already have were purchased for the city by the Young Foundation. “
The collection is made up of nine works scattered across the city, such as the Daviess County Courthouse and the Owensboro Convention Center.
“All of the pieces were purchased by individuals, foundations and businesses and donated to the city,” Hood said.
The Lincoln statue was created by Mark Lundeen, a sculptor from Loveland, Colorado. Lundeen’s work was chosen to enter the city’s collection through the Museum of Fine Arts’ “Riverartes: The Art of Creating Places” exhibition, which the museum organizes every two years.
“He is known nationally and even internationally, so we were very happy 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 town native and the Motorsport legend Nicky Hayden at the convention center.
Public art works like the Lincoln Statue are “invaluable cultural tourism,” Hood said.
Plans are already underway for the next “Riverartes” exhibition, to be held in spring 2022.
“We have projects underway,” Hood said, adding that the museum would invite artists from across the county to submit proposals for the exhibition. The museum is considering a suggestion that artists consider doing works commemorating prominent Owensboro natives, Hood said.