Local Sculptor Honors Lincoln Palatine Artist's Statue to Be Dedicated in Former Confederate Capital

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Byline: Shruti Date Singh Daily Herald Staff Writer

A Palatine native and St. Viator High School alumnus has made his mark in bronze.

David Frech created a life-size sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln and his youngest son, Tad, which will be dedicated Saturday in Richmond, Va.

The bronze statue will commemorate Lincoln's arrival with his son to Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, on April 5, 1865. The day was the birthday of the president's youngest son and just two days after Union troops captured Richmond. Lincoln would be shot nine days later.

Frech, a freelance artist who now lives in New York, created the bronze statue for the U.S. Historical Society.

The statue shows a president with the weight of the country on his shoulders, and a compassionate father reaching out to his son.

"I was very aware of the responsibility of the piece," Frech said. "I hope the sculpture showed a little of that. I am portraying a difficult situation."

The bronze sculpture has put Frech, who took his first formal art class as a sophomore at St. Viator in Arlington Heights, on the national stage.

The historic date of Lincoln's visit to the southern city calls attention to the piece. But a group in Richmond opposed to the placement of the statue in the former capital of the Confederacy also has made headlines.

"It's the most attention I've gotten," Frech said.

His parents, Raymond and Ellen, who still live in Palatine, will join Frech at the dedication at the Richmond National Battlefield Park Civil War Visitor Center.

Frech, who attended Virginia Lake Elementary School and Walter Sundling Junior High School in Palatine, credits his mother for nudging him to pursue art. She would cut out photos or pictures from magazines she thought her son should try to draw.

Frech said at a time when he wasn't performing particularly well in high school, his mother pushed him to enroll in art classes. …