Mount Rushmore Creator Gutzon Borglum
American sculptor Gutzon Borglum is widely recognized as the mastermind behind one of the most famous national monuments in the United States, Mount Rushmore. Borglum, born in 1867, grew up in Idaho and Nebraska and was largely reputed to have a knack for all things art-related even at a very young age. He attended the Academie Julian in Paris, where he met and grew fond of the artist Auguste Rodin. With Rodin as a strong influence, he moved back to the United States and is credited for many of the sculptures at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City, a sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and even a large sculpture of Lincoln's head in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington DC. Another notable work was the sculpture on Stone Mountain near Atlanta.
Borglum certainly was a reputable and well-known artist before his grand vision of Mount Rushmore came to mind, but Mount Rushmore is by far his most recognized creation. Mount Rushmore actually was a 15 year long project that lasted from 1927 until Borglum's death in 1941. Mount Rushmore boasts the faces of presidents Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, and Roosevelt carved and dynamite blasted into the face of a granite stone cliff. Borglum was responsible not only for the design of the sculpture, but he also was instrumental in raising funds for this massive project, garnishing local and federal support, and overseeing the actual construction work. While Borglum toured the world in search of support and funds, the work on the project continued under the oversight of Borglum's son. Borglum died shortly before the project reached its current state, and Borglum's son did continue with the efforts for a few months after his death. However, if you visit Mount Rushmore today, the monument is largely how it was at the time of Borglum's death.
The life of Gutzon Borglum was largely devoted to creating larger than life works of art, and many of his works depicted patriotic scenes or themes. For many visitors to the Black Hills of South Dakota today, Mount Rushmore is the most popular attraction to visit. If you travel to other areas of the country where his works stand today, such as in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Capitol Hill in Washington DC, or Stone Mountain in Atlanta, to name just a few, be sure to check out his other famous works of art.