“With Malice Toward None, With Charity for All” commemorates President Abraham Lincoln in this cardboard diorama replicating the White House and serving as a stage for the story. It is the cornerstone exhibit in The Strange Fates of Lincoln: A Portable Museum.
The Strange Fates of Lincoln: A Portable Museum is not your typical history museum. First, there is the unusual point of view about the bizarre yet true events that surround Abraham Lincoln and his family. Then there is the unusual medium. The exhibits are tabletop dioramas that I’ve constructed using recycled cardboard—detailed with my drawings and paintings. The humble material of cardboard seems the appropriate base from which to build the stories about a man who transcended poverty to become an enduring American icon.
Before I conceived of a museum, I created a 64-page hand-made book. I needed a larger stage for the stories and images I collected so I began building one diorama and then the next until now, there are seven exhibits. My daughter Elizabeth observed, "It's a museum."
I feel at home in museums. I am compelled to use meaningful content in my work and have an audience for it. A museum. That’s just right. -- Susan Bercu
The Museum Table of Contents
About the Strange Fates of Lincoln--A Portable Museum
Each diorama size: approximately 18 in. wide x 20 in. high x 18 in. deep
The structures of the museum dioramas are built from recycled cardboard and painted with acrylic. The stories and art are referenced from historical sources. Three-dimensional objects are built from cardboard and painted. I scan, re-color and print most of my drawings and paintings. Newspaper clippings and letters may be reproductions or redrawn. When I draw and paint from archival references, I gain an intimate knowledge of my subject. I felt sorrow while drawingthe silver handled Derringer that was used to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. Look for my paintings of the guns used to assassinate President James Garfield and President William McKinley.