Seeing Our Greatest President In Almost Living Color

Time magazine commissioned an artist to colorize a few classic images from the National Archive of our 16th President. Swedish artist Sanna Dullaway used Photoshop first to clean up any blemishes on Lincoln’s image and then to add realistic color. The effect is hypnotic and engrossing–this extraordinary leader seems suddenly…tangible.

Dennis Ryan, Advertising, Olson

What’s particularly interesting is that Sanna is twenty two.  She’s been at this for less than two years, getting her start by posting her colorized version Malcolm Browne’s heartbreaking burning monk image from the Vietnam War: an image she found on Rage Against The Machine’s debut album.  That piece went viral, as have many others since.

But what’s really interesting is that you can commission her as well.  As her website reads:  “Using state-of-the-art technology and artistic talent, I will turn your black and white memories into vivid colour. Since each photo is unique and have a great emotional value it would be a perfect gift to a family member or friend.”

Unfortunately, that was before last week.  Once the Time story broke, jobs poured in.  As she puts it on a website update on pricing: “I’m afraid I do not have the time to colourize private photos for the time being – I am currently too busy with commercial projects. Please check back again in a couple of weeks!”

She clearly knows how the web works. Supply and demand and all that.


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson

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