This mask of the 51-year-old Lincoln, made by Leonard Volk in 1860, hardened so fast that it was painful to pull off.
These two extraordinary life masks—made but five years apart—record with painful precision the grueling physical toll the Civil War exacted on Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln’s secretary John Hay observed of these two life portraits:
Clark Mills made this mask in February 1865. Notice how aged Lincoln looks four years into his presidency. His secretary, John Hay, said it showed “unspeakable sadness and all-sufficing strength.”