Christopher Oakley thinks he’s just found another photographic image of Abraham Lincoln, and his discovery inspired a big story in this month’s issue of Smithsonian magazine.
Oakley, a former Disney animator who teaches at the University of North Carolina in Asheville, is working with his students on a three-dimensional animation of Lincoln delivering his Gettysburg address.
As part of his research, Oakley pored over images of the Gettysburg ceremony where Lincoln spoke. Oakley believes he’s found a tiny, previously undiscovered image of the 16th president among the attendees. The image isn’t very distinct, so Oakley had to do a lot of technology-assisted detective work to produce what he believes is verifiable proof the figure in the picture is, indeed, Lincoln.
Is any of this really important?
At the very least, Oakley’s effort underscores the public fascination with Lincoln, and our reluctance to let him go.