On the back of this casting is a small label identifying it’
s origin as the Volk family estate, Hewnoaks  in Lovell,
Maine.  In 1904 Leonard Volk’s son Stephen Arnold
Douglas Volk who was by this time a highly respected
artist in his own right, purchased a farm and land on
Kezar Lake in western Maine.  Converted to provide a
studio and space for friends of Douglas and his wife
Marion, the place was named Hewnoaks.  It held
numerous important family things to include relics from
Leonard Volk’s old Chicago studio.  The estate was
utilized by the family as a retreat for artist friends and
craftspeople. The Maine Historical Society in Portland
counts as part of their collection, a chair from Hewnoaks
said to have been used by Lincoln when Stephen Volk
took his casting.  The Volk family held the Lovell, Maine
property for 100 years before Hewnoaks was given to
the University of Maine and its content put up for public
A plaster life mask taken of Lincoln’s face by
Leonard Volk in Chicago in 1860.  
Upon his Chicago visit in the spring of 1860 Lincoln was asked by sculptor Leonard Volk if he
would come to his studio for the purpose of doing a bust portrait.   Lincoln agreed but we will
never know if he realized what was in store as the artist decided to take a life mask casting as a
lasting reference for his work.  The established procedure for the task was followed.  It has been
said that Lincoln well tolerated the process of letting wet plaster dry on his face and the arduous
task of removing the set plaster in one piece but afterward commented that the experience was
anything but agreeable.  Upon viewing the final casting from Volk’s pattern Lincoln advised that
it looked like the
animal himself.   
A period carved figure of Lincoln commemorates the
Emancipation Proclamation