A man who was never photographed or painted with a smiling, let alone laughing face, is about to get a makeover in Naperville.

A Naperville public art group plans on celebrating Illinois' bicentennial with a life-size statue of a laughing Abraham Lincoln in the Chicago suburb's Central Park.

From the Naperville Sun:

Naperville Century Walk president Brand Bobosky tells The Naperville Sun that the jovial, knee-slapping version of Lincoln is meant to show a different side of the 16th president. Bobosky says Lincoln "had a great sense of humor." Illinois state historian Sam Wheeler says Lincoln could be "hilarious to be around." Bobosky calls the statue a "birthday gift to the state of Illinois."

The group has about $50,000 for the statue and installation, about half the amount needed. Fundraising will continue through September. Century Walk plans a gala the day before Illinois' Dec. 3 bicentennial, when the completed Lincoln statue will be dedicated.

In spite of what we may have been taught in school, it turns out the Abraham Lincoln had a marvelous sense of humor, and loved both hearing and telling jokes: