Editors' Note:

The next four letters relate to our father's 2010 Springfield trip. They are presented chronologically.



  Springfield, Sept 7th, 2010

  My dear Barry Bauman:  

I had scarcely supposed thirty-three years would elapse, ere I should have written you, but indisposition has prevented me. For the last ten days, I have been sick with chills, and am now beginning, to feel better. Where does the time go? When I last wrote, you were a conservator at the Art Institute, and now your work is offered complimentary. Please know, the work of love, you are now performing is recorded on High. (39)

I have been informed that Dr. James Cornelius, Curator for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, has asked you to examine four paintings next week. How I loved Springfield as a young girl. Leaving Kentucky and traveling there, at the age of eighteen, was such an adventure for me. Now, I live there permanently, and I hope you will have an opportunity to visit, when you are in town. It would be such a pleasure, to see you, after so many years of correspondence.

You can scarcely imagine a place, improving more rapidly than ours, almost palaces of homes, have been reared since you were here, hundreds of houses have been going up this season and some of them, very elegant. (40)

Write very soon, you know not the happiness one of your letters affords. Please present my best regards, to your family. Affectionately. (41)


Mary Lincoln






Springfield, Illinois

Dear Mary Lincoln,


I am now in Springfield and finally I'm beginning to understand why you chose to communicate with me so many years ago. Today, I carried out a visual examination of four paintings including, as you knew would be the case, your portrait--the very same one I saw in 1977. The painting has been hanging in the Governor's Mansion all this time but was moved to the museum for my review.

The curator is unhappy with the painting's appearance and I must say I agree. The surface has dulled and there is just no life to the image. I am aware how the painting looked in 1929 and I will make every effort to return the portrait to its former, more genteel, presentation of you. It will be coming to my studio in a few days and I will have an opportunity to examine it more fully at that time.

Best regards,


P.S. It was nice to have a chance to visit you and to see you are resting so peacefully. I most enjoyed our lively conversation. I enclose a picture of your home.


Mary Lincoln Residence
Springfield, Illinois


Springfield, Sept 17th 2010 

  My dear Barry Bauman:  

I am glad you enjoyed your visit to Springfield. The people are all so pleasantly situated--so hospitable and so fully prepared to receive you with the greatest affection. I am pleased to hear that you reached home in safety. (42)

Write me, do, when you receive this. Please send me a copy of your examination immediately. I must not be kept waiting a minute longer than I have to. (43)



River Forest, Illinois

Dear Mrs. Lincoln,

  Following is the examination review I wrote to Dr. Cornelius.  

The Carpenter portrait has suffered through a succession of restorations and now carries little relationship to its original intent. I am personally familiar with its 1978 restoration, having seen it undergoing work in the Art Institute's lab while I was on staff there.

In an attempt to unify uneven surfaces, the department's director would occasionally resort to the use of polyurethane and I recognize its matte plastic characteristics on this painting. Having served on the Art Institute's staff for eleven years, I also recognize his cross-hatching, Medieval-style, inpainting technique now visually out of context on this nineteenth-century oil. The entire painting has been virtually repainted.

The painting's treatment is a complex undertaking. Removal of polyurethane is a slow and delicate process; all the more so on a surface that has been subjected to deterioration through age, neglect, and invasive restoration procedures. The actual condition of the original surface is unknown, but the known condition of the painting's present appearance warrants a sensitive attempt to reclaim the lost original.


I will keep you informed as the work progresses.

Best regards,

Barry Bauman


 Page 10



Page 1--Editors' Introduction

Page 2--You Must Not Fail Me

Page 3--An Artistic Conspiracy

Page 4--Principal Conspirator

Page 5--Co-Conspirator

Page 6--The Affidavit

Page 7--Unknowing Participants

Page 8--Accessories A, B, C, D

Page 9--Springfield

Page 10--Cleaning

Page 11--All That is Excellent

Page 12--Smoking Gun

Page 13--Judgment

Page 14--App./Acknowledgments



39. I had scarcely...to feel better. Turner. p. 108. Letter to Hannah Shearer. 10/6/1861. Please know...on High. Turner. p. 525. Letter to Sally Orne. 11/20/1869.

40. You can scarcely...very elegant. Turner. p. 50. Letter to Emilie Todd Helm. 9/20/1857.

41. Write very soon...affords. Turner. p. 18. Letter to Mercy Ann Levering. 7/23/1840. Please present my best regards, to your family. Turner. p. 680. Letter to Jacob Bunn. 4/23/1879.

42. I am glad...greatest affection. Turner. p. 505. Letter to Mary Harlan Lincoln. 3/22/1869. I am pleased...in safety. Turner. p. 108. Letter to Hannah Shearer. 10/6/1861.

43. Write me, do, when you receive this. Turner. p. 449. Letter to Elizabeth Keckley. 11/9/1867.




Barry Bauman Conservation
Contact: Mr. Barry Bauman
1122 N. Jackson Ave., River Forest, IL. 60305
Ph.(708)771-0382  Fax.(708)771-1532