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Nancy Buchanan - Lincoln Fay’s Journal
Nancy Buchanan - Lincoln Fay’s Journal
Nancy Buchanan - Lincoln Fay’s Journal
Nancy Buchanan - Lincoln Fay’s Journal
Nancy Buchanan - Lincoln Fay’s Journal
Nancy Buchanan - Lincoln Fay’s Journal
Charlie James Gallery

Nancy Buchanan - Lincoln Fay’s Journal

Regular price $350.00 $0.00 Unit price per

Nancy Buchanan
Lincoln Fay’s Journal (2023) 

Two-pass letterpress print.
11 x 8.5 inches
Edition of 20

Signed and numbered by the artist

Printed by Wavelength Press

Ships flat via Fedex
Please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping

About the Work:
Lincoln Fay’s Journal is a new letterpress edition made in collaboration with Nancy Buchanan and Wavelength Press. Lincoln Fay’s Journal (2023) is closely tied to the artist’s family history as are her book works, Fallout from the Nuclear Family (1980) and Mother (1979), both in the Getty Research Institute collections. Buchanan’s great-great-grandfather was Lincoln Fay, an abolitionist who built a house in Portland, New York in 1860, with three cellars used as Underground Railroad stations. Fay also left a journal, written in 1830-1831, which primarily documented the brooms he made and included entries written in a simple code. A partial translation of text in code on this page reads, “O Lord I beg of thee to answer my prayers.”

“Lincoln Fay’s journal is a family heirloom,” notes Buchanan. “He was my grandmother’s grandfather. Many entries are related to Lincoln’s making and selling or trading brooms, for which he raised his own broomcorn (a type of sorghum.) Some pages are written in part or whole in a simple code, which is the alphabet backward.

About his journal, Lincoln said:
Looking at the waste of past time and considering it a duty to improve my time whilst heaven lends me the blessing of health it always gives my life pleasure at night to look back on a profitable good day’s labour. Therefore, I conclude in old age it will be pleasant for me to see what I have been about since I commenced business in life for myself. Accordingly, I now [on] the 25th of Nov. commence a day book.

In the 1830s, broom-making was a significant industry in upstate New York, providing jobs for many families. The process of making brooms was labor-intensive and required skill. Brooms made from broomcorn were popular and of good quality. This industry was important to the local economy, especially in rural areas where farming was the primary occupation, and it helped farmers earn income during the slower winter months.

Buchanan drew a handmade broom and the page from the journal was recreated into a photopolymer plate and printed on a Vandercook SP20 Proof Press. The letterpress print, Lincoln Fay’s Journal, is offered as an edition of 20 and printed on Rives BFK cotton paper and soy inks, available through Wavelength Press and Charlie James Gallery.