Abraham Lincoln’s wax sculpture highlighting Civil War melts in Washington heatwave

A six-foot-tall wax statue of US former President Abraham Lincoln melted in the heatwave that hit Washington, D.C.

Richmond artist Sandy Williams IV installed the memorial on the historic site of Camp Barker in February on the grounds of Garrison Elementary School in Northwest Washington, BBC reported.

This Civil War-era refugee camp, once sheltered formerly enslaved and freed African Americans, is now the site of an elementary school.

Maybe a wax Lincoln sculpture wasn’t the best idea during DC’s first week of summer heat

— Kirk A. Bado (@kirk_bado) June 23, 2024

The statue, which functions both as a wax sculpture and a candle, is part of Virginia-based artist Sandy Williams IV’s The Wax Monument Series.

This isn’t the first time it has had melting issues; an earlier version with over 100 wicks melted prematurely before its dedication ceremony last September.

The current version, installed in February with fewer and strategically placed wicks, includes a plaque advising visitors to extinguish the wick within 1-2 minutes. The installation aims to highlight the significance of the Civil War era and its aftermath, situated under large trees expected to provide shade during the summer months.

According to its website, the installation directly reflects Washington, DC’s history of Civil War-era Contraband Camps.

According to a report by Eastcityart, artist Sandy Williams IV, said, “Traditionally, monuments are made to sit and collect a patina, as they withstand change, in an attempt to eternalize a particular reality. I am interested in visualizing change and building monuments able to keep a living record of activity. By melting these wax versions of famous monuments, people are given agency over these forms that are normally (legally) untouchable.”

This replica is commissioned by the non-profit CulturalDC, marking the third installment of Sandy Williams IV’s 40 ACRES Archive – The Wax Monument series, featuring wax replicas of prominent public monuments and cultural symbols.

Over the weekend, the DC-metro area was under a heat alert, with continued high temperatures expected throughout the week. Local media outlets have reported that the wax head is scheduled to be reattached this week.

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HomeNewsworldAbraham Lincoln’s wax sculpture highlighting Civil War melts in Washington heatwave

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