The Return Visit Statue (Lincoln Square, Gettysburg)
The Return Visit Statue, located adjacent to the David Wills House in Lincoln Square, is one of the most photographed statues in Gettysburg. Commissioned by the Fellowship in 1991 and sculpted by J. Seward Johnson, the statue commemorates Lincoln's November, 1863 visit to Gettysburg. The statue depicts "the common man" with Abraham Lincoln, illustrating the relevance of the Gettysburg Address to the present-day. It directs modern-day visitors' attention to the Wills House to reflect upon Lincoln's famous "few appropriate remarks," whose finishing touches he likely scripted at the house on November 18th, the evening prior to delivering the Gettysburg Address.
Johnson’s sculptures are all quite realistic, and this one is no exception. Historian and Lincoln expert Gabor Boritt and other specialists supplied Johnson with detailed information including photographs, shoe size, hat measurements, analysis of Lincoln’s clothing, and bronze copies of plaster casts made of his face and hands.
The statue proved so popular that Johnson created eight huge duplicates ranging from 25 to 31 feet tall, made of aluminum. These travel from place to place across the country. A 31-foot statue arrived in Chicago the same week that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, and the ensuing celebration swirled around the giants, while Modern Man wore a Cubs fan shirt over his white sweater.
Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)3 Organization
P. O. Box 3372, Gettysburg, PA 17325