Meltdown in DC: Abraham Lincoln Wax Sculpture Falls Victim to Sweltering Heat

Meltdown in DC: Abraham Lincoln Wax Sculpture Falls Victim to Sweltering Heat
Abraham Lincoln Wax Sculpture

Written by Priscilla Boakye


In a bizarre and ironic incident, a wax statue of President Abraham Lincoln, known for his steadfast leadership during the Civil War, melted in the sweltering heatwave that hit Washington, DC. The 6-foot-tall sculpture, located at Garrison Elementary School, began to disintegrate, with its head melting first, followed by a leg and foot dripping off, and the chair sinking into the ground.


The statue, part of artist Sandy Williams IV's The Wax Monument Series, is a thought-provoking commentary on DC's history of Civil War-era Contraband Camps. The installation is designed to double as a candle, with viewers encouraged to light a wick and observe the melting process. However, the sculpture's premature melting has forced repairs, with the head currently detached and a wire protruding from Lincoln's neck.


The incident has raised questions about the fragility of art in the face of extreme weather conditions. Despite being designed to melt, the sculpture's rapid disintegration highlights the challenges of displaying public art in unpredictable environments. The installation, commissioned by CulturalDC, is expected to be restored this week.


Garrison Elementary School, the site of the melting sculpture, has a rich history dating back to the Civil War era. Formerly the site of Camp Barker, a refuge for freed and formerly enslaved African Americans, the school has been transformed into a symbol of hope and resilience. The melting of the Lincoln sculpture serves as a poignant reminder of the transience of art and the importance of preserving our cultural legacy.

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