Gutzon Borglum

Borglum, Gutzon

American sculptor best remembered for his enormous presidential memorial on Mt. Rushmore (1867-1941). Signed and inscribed photograph of Mount Rushmore. South Dakota. 4to. 1 p. Image size: 180 : 225 mm. Overall size: 335 : 380 mm.
$ 2,723 / 2.500 € (93527)

A gorgeous sepia photograph depicting an early model of his George Washington sculpture on Mount Rushmore inscribed “For Hon. Jessie Jount [?] Sincerely yours Gutzon Borglum 1926 Head of Geo Washington being carved on Mount Rushmore South Dakota.” Borglum studied art in San Francisco and Paris, but it was while living in New York with his wife, a scholar in Middle Eastern manuscripts, that he became interested in the ancient Mesopotamian art of carving massive political statues in immense natural formations.

His first undertaking of this kind was the head of Abraham Lincoln carved from a six ton block of marble in 1901, followed by an equally impressive, but unfinished, carving of General Robert E. Lee. But it is Borglum’s 6,000 square foot Mt. Rushmore National Memorial that comprises the apex of his style. Commissioned by the state of South Dakota, Borglum first created a series of models in his South Dakota studio before carving the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt on the side of Six Grandfathers Mountain, a Sioux Nation sacred place, renamed Mt. Rushmore in 1885. The four heads, each sixty feet high, represent the founding of the nation, her political philosophy, preservation, and expansion and conservation. This massive undertaking, begun in 1927, was finished in 1941, the year of Borglum’s death. Elegantly framed; not examined out of the frame..

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