Lincoln Statue, Capitol Rotunda


Donated in 1911 by James Breckinridge Speed, the nephew of Lincolnís best friend, Joshua Speed, the Lincoln statue in the capitol rotunda is one of the most impressive artistic renditions of the sixteenth president.Created by renowned artist Adolf A. Weinman, the sculpture stands fourteen feet tall and is surrounded by other significant Kentucky politicians, such as Alben Barkley, Henry Clay, and Jefferson Davis.††


James Breckinridge Speed was born in 1844 into the wealthy and powerful Speed family of Louisville.He studied at Louisville Male High School before enlisting in the Union army during the Civil War.Speed later entered the cement and telephone industries, eventually amassing a large fortune.He died in 1912, shortly after donating the Lincoln statue to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and was buried in Louisvilleís Cave Hill Cemetery.Speedís widow, Hattie Bishop Speed, founded the J.B. Speed Memorial Museum, now known as the Speed Art Museum, in Louisville in 1925.


In addition to the Lincoln statue in Kentuckyís capitol rotunda, Adolph Weinman also sculpted Lincoln statues located in downtown Hodgenville and at the Wisconsin state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin.


Lincoln Statue in the Kentucky State Capitol Rotunda