The Graduate Center - City University of New York

Francis B. Carpenter, Chapters I-VIII, Six Months at the White House, with Abraham Lincoln: The Story of a Picture (1866)

In 1864 painter Francis Bicknell Carpenter was given permission to work in the White House on a large group portrait commemorating Abraham Lincoln's reading of the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet. After spending weeks sketching, photographing, and making oil studies of the president and members of the cabinet, Carpenter began painting on a 9 by 14 1/2-foot canvas set up in the State Dining Room. Shunning allegory and with minimal symbolic references, Carpenter's finished painting, The First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln, was a popular and critical success and was seen by thousands of Americans when it toured the country. In 1866, Carpenter published a memoir about his painting experience.

Creator: Francis B. Carpenter

Date: 1866

Publisher: Six Months at the White House, with Abraham Lincoln: The Story of a Picture – New York: Hurd and Houghton

Source: Accessed via Internet Archive: http://archive.org/details/sixmonthsatwhit02carpgoog