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Pardon Me, But I Don’t Believe That’s Mrs. Lincoln

A portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln that hung in the Illinois governor’s mansion for over thirty years – and was then donated to the Illinois Historical Library by Lincoln’s last descendants – has been definitively labeled a fraud by a loose committee of art experts. The revelation completely negates the portrait’s rather touching back story, which held that Mrs. Lincoln had had the portrait secretly painted as a surprise for the President, only to see him shot dead before she’d had a chance to give him the painting. In reality, the painting was done by someone-or-other at some point in the 19th century and was altered by a guy named Ludwig Pflum, who then sold it to the Lincoln family. (FULL ARTICLE: John Byrne, Chicago Tribune)