Photo Antiquities Lincoln exhibit four years in the making


Photo by Ben Kline
Photo Antiquities Founder Bruce Klein giving Mayor Bill Peduto a tour of the exhibit.

By Alyse Horn

Just days before President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, he recounted a dream about being in the White House surrounded by “mournful sounds of distress.”

In his dream, he walked the halls of the White House searching for the source of the sobbing. When he entered the East Room, he said he was met with a “sickening surprise.” He saw soldiers standing around a catafalque, and when he asked, “Who is dead in the White House?” a soldier responded, “The President… he was killed by an assassin!”

Lincoln may have had a premonitory dream of his own death, but could he have anticipated he would become one of the most famous presidents in the United States of America and worldwide?

“He is probably the best known president of all our presidents, because he basically brought the country together,” said Bruce Klein, founder of Photo Antiquities Museum, 531 E. Ohio St. “The Lincoln Memorial [in Washington D.C.] is one of the most visited memorials. From all over the world, people come to see that monument.”

Klein held a preview for “Lincoln in Pittsburgh: An Exhibit of Vintage Photographs and Documents,” on Thursday, April 20.

Klein said he has been compiling photographic history of Lincoln for the past four years that features dozens of rare photographs. Mayor Bill Peduto and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald were in attendance.

Some of the notable photographs in the exhibit include the image of Lincoln that was used for the penny and the $5 bill, as well as the last photo the president sat for in 1865.

The exhibit opens on Monday, May 1 and will run until April 2018. Klein expects around 10,000 visitors to view the exhibit during that time, bringing thousands of people who may have otherwise never visited the Northside. Klein also said he will be inviting schools from Western Pennsylvania to come visit.

“There is a lot of history on him and this is great educational tool,” Klein said.

The photos on display will be rotating, as some are on loan from other museums, but he will be receiving photographs of Lincoln to replace those photographs.

Photo Antiquities is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Sundays and Tuesdays. Admission is $10.


Highlights include:

  • Abraham Lincoln’s last check written before attending Ford’s Theater
  • Large oil painting by A.F. King of Lincoln after a Mathew Brady Photograph
  • Quarter-plate Daguerreotype copy of Alexander Hesler’s 1860 portrait.
  • Vintage photographs by N.H. Shepherd, W.J. Thompson, M.B. Brady,A Hesler, C.S. German, A Gardner and H.F. Warren.
  • Signed by Linclon, Documents and a portrait by Mathew B. Brady
  • Lincoln’s Generals
  • Gettysburg Address, a copper plaque and signed copies by political figures
  • Bronze bust by Volk Lincoln 1860, mounted onto a pedestal base
  •  Plaster Life Mask by Clark Mills
  •  Copy of a Philadelphia Derringer
  • Replica of the Ford’s Theater Chair
  •  Original copy of the Dedication Gettysburg National Cemetery book c.1864 which contains the first printing of the Gettysburg Address
  •  Various period prints of Lincoln, more detail if you need.
  • Wax lifelike portrait head of Lincoln by Ivo Zini c.1980
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