"The tired spot"
It is impossible to look at this cast of Lincoln's face-gaunt and careworn-and not think that it is a death mask. In fact, it was taken from life on February 11, 1865, by sculptor Clark Mills. Life masks were very popular in the nineteenth century because they created a near-duplicate of the sitter's features. The plaster image complements the photographs taken of Lincoln by Alexander Gardner the same month. A friend of Lincoln's commented on the mask-and thus on the original-that it has "a look as of one on whom sorrow and care had done their worst."