After being removed from Cornell University’s campus earlier this year, an historic bust is now back at Cornell University.
“I believe this is the uncanceling the cancel culture. “The uncanceling Lincoln represents a win against cancel culture which has overtook the universities,” Randy Wayne from Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science told Fox News Digital via phone interview.
From 2013 to the spring of 2013, a bust of Lincoln was found in the Kroch Library of the university. They were then removed abruptly.
Wayne raised the alarm about the missing Lincoln bust in June and told The College Fix that “someone complained, it was gone.”
Fox News Digital was informed by the school that the bust was taken out of a temporary exhibit to commemorate the 150th anniversary in 2013 of the Gettysburg Address. It was then stored after the exhibit was over.
Wayne explained that the bust returned to its original location this month just as quietly as it disappeared. Wayne explained that the historic bust is on a pedestal so it can stand as high as Lincoln’s 6′ 4” tall stature. It is currently on display at the Uris Library.
Wayne, who described himself as a “squeaky” student who advocates for academic freedom and free speech, said that he has received numerous letters and emails from students across the country and around the globe expressing concern about the Lincoln bust.
Wayne was Cornell’s most vocal staff member after the Lincoln statue disappeared. However, the professor gave credit to a group effort that resulted in the statue being reinstalled on campus. He cited the Cornell Free Speech Alliance, which included alumni, staff, and students, for being the first to raise the alarm about the removal.
“It was just announced by the university that Old Abe will be reinstated at Uris Library in a prominent display. CONGRATS to CornellFSA supporters for making this possible! The Cornell Free Speech Alliance proudly displays the following statement at the top its website, as of mid-November.
The history of the bust is fascinating. Wayne says that Lincoln sat down for Vinnie Ream, a teenage female sculptor, just before his assassination.
Ream was the youngest artist and the first woman to be commissioned by federal government for a sculpture after Lincoln’s passing. This is the Lincoln statue, which can be found in the U.S. Capitol’s Rotunda.
“It’s a great celebration to see Vinnie Ream’s sculpture in public. Wayne stated that it was a celebration for women and a celebration to young women.
Wayne, a Cornell student, has used the statue to help him and his students understand the evils and weight of slavery as well as the American heroes who fought back.
“[I take them] to see] the manacles, feel how heavy they’re, and just understand that slavery is not something you can use as a talking point. He said that it truly touched people and was something that they should take seriously.
Wayne previously stated to Fox News Digital that he uses face-to-face conversations that are motivated and motivated by understanding and “power of love” in his fight for academic freedom and free speech on campus. While calling for Lincoln’s return and meeting with library officials, Wayne did not abandon that strategy. He also emailed school leaders.
It will be difficult to get other statues back on campuses and in cities across the country. Wayne pointed out The College Fix’s Cancel Culture Database, which lists statues of historical figures from Walt Whitman and George Washington that were either destroyed or removed from prominent displays since 2020.
He said, “I hope that Abraham Lincoln will become the first of many statues or busts that alumni associations at each college could bring back.”
He explained that academia is motivated to support diversity and equity in order to avoid being cancelled and is waiting for the climate to change.
“Really authentic people believe in” diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at many campuses across the country. “But most are petrified and just playing the game hoping it’s going to end.”
Fox News Digital reached Cornell University to get additional comments on Lincoln’s return. They provided a previously issued statement to the news outlet.
“The Lincoln bust was sculpted in marble ca. A temporary exhibit celebrating the 150th anniversary the Gettysburg Address featured 1864-1870. The temporary exhibit was closed in August 2021, and the bust was put into storage. The library staff had a thoughtful discussion about the curatorial decision and subsequently, they were able to ask questions. “I was moved by the outpouring in interest in this historical artifact, and made plans to return it to public view,” Elaine L. Westbrooks (Carl A. Kroch University’s librarian) said.
“Cornell boasts an impressive Lincoln collection. It includes one of five copies of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address written in Lincoln’s handwriting and one of 14 manuscript copies for the 13th Amendment, which has the original signatures and signatures of Lincoln, as well as members of Congress who voted to support it. The university has a Lincoln statue that it displays in Uris Library.