Shirtless Lincoln

Field review by the editors.

Los Angeles, California

Rediscovered by the interwebs in early 2019, this 1939 limestone sculpture of a shirtless "Young Lincoln" was christened with many new monikers, including "Honest Abs," "Babe-raham Lincoln," and "The Gettysburg Undress." Abe's languid pose, with one thumb tucked into his waistband, eerily prefigures similar slouches in self-important 21st century fragrance ads. An accompanying plaque insists that the sculpture portrays Abe as "a man of deep sentiment and understanding."

Young Lincoln was carved as a 22-year old by a 22-year old, James L. Hansen, who used himself as the model. Legend has it that he was so thrilled to receive his check from the Fine Arts Commission that he went out and bought a car, which he promptly crashed.

It took Hansen two years to complete the shirtless, barefoot, eight-foot-high Abe, which was installed in what was then the Los Angeles Post Office and Courthouse in 1941.

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Shirtless Lincoln

Spring Street Courthouse

312 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA
In the lobby of the Spring Street Courthouse. North of downtown, on the east side of N. Spring St. between Aliso and W. Temple St. Just south of the 101 Fwy.
M-F 8:30-4:30 Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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In the region:
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