Gutzon Borglum

Gutzon Borglum

Overview
Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (March 25, 1867 – March 6, 1941) was an American artist
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 and sculptor
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

 famous for creating the monumental president
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

s' heads at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, the famous carving on Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock in Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet amsl and 825 feet above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain granite extends underground at its longest point into Gwinnett County...

 near Atlanta, as well as other public works of art.

The son of Mormon
Mormon
The term Mormon most commonly denotes an adherent, practitioner, follower, or constituent of Mormonism, which is the largest branch of the Latter Day Saint movement in restorationist Christianity...

 Danish immigrants, Gutzon Borglum was born in 1867 in St. Charles
St. Charles, Idaho
St. Charles is a city located near the northern end of Bear Lake, in Bear Lake County, Idaho, United States. The population was 156 at the 2000 census. Ranching and recreation are the major influences on the community. Its small population live in houses scattered through a number of blocks of...

, Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

. Borglum was a child of polygamy. His father, James Miller Borglum, had two wives when he lived in Idaho -- Borglum's mother and his mother's sister, his father's first, legal wife.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Gutzon Borglum'
Start a new discussion about 'Gutzon Borglum'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (March 25, 1867 – March 6, 1941) was an American artist
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 and sculptor
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

 famous for creating the monumental president
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

s' heads at Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, the famous carving on Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock in Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet amsl and 825 feet above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain granite extends underground at its longest point into Gwinnett County...

 near Atlanta, as well as other public works of art.

Background


The son of Mormon
Mormon
The term Mormon most commonly denotes an adherent, practitioner, follower, or constituent of Mormonism, which is the largest branch of the Latter Day Saint movement in restorationist Christianity...

 Danish immigrants, Gutzon Borglum was born in 1867 in St. Charles
St. Charles, Idaho
St. Charles is a city located near the northern end of Bear Lake, in Bear Lake County, Idaho, United States. The population was 156 at the 2000 census. Ranching and recreation are the major influences on the community. Its small population live in houses scattered through a number of blocks of...

, Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

. Borglum was a child of polygamy. His father, James Miller Borglum, had two wives when he lived in Idaho -- Borglum's mother and his mother's sister, his father's first, legal wife. His father decided to leave Mormonism and to go back to Omaha, where polygamy was illegal and taboo. He decided that Gutzon's mother would be cast out of the family and never spoken of again.
His father worked mainly as a woodcarver before leaving Idaho to attend and matriculate from the Saint Louis Homeopathic Medical College
Washington University School of Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine , located in St. Louis, Missouri, is one of the graduate schools of Washington University in St. Louis. One of the top medical schools in the United States, it is currently ranked 4th for research according to U.S. News and World Report and has been listed...

  in Saint Louis, Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

. Upon his graduation from the Missouri Medical College in 1874, Dr. Borglum moved the family to Fremont
Fremont, Nebraska
Fremont is a city in and the county seat of Dodge County, Nebraska, United States, near Omaha in the eastern part of the state. The population was 26,397 at the 2010 census....

, Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

, where he established a medical practice. Gutzon Borglum remained in Fremont until 1882, when his father enrolled him in Saint Mary’s Academy
St. Mary's College, Kansas
Saint Mary's Academy and College is a religious school of the Society of St. Pius X located in St. Marys, Kansas, 25 miles west of Topeka.- St. Mary's College :...

. After a brief stint at Saint Mary’s Academy, Borglum relocated to Omaha
Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska, United States, and is the county seat of Douglas County. It is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 20 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River...

, Nebraska, where he apprenticed in a machine shop and graduated from Creighton Preparatory School
Creighton Preparatory School
Creighton Preparatory School , is a private, Jesuit college prep school founded in 1878 for young men. Centrally located in Omaha, Nebraska at 7400 Western Avenue, Prep is the largest Catholic high school in the state of Nebraska, USA with an enrollment of 1,038 young men...

. He was trained in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 at the Académie Julian
Académie Julian
The Académie Julian was an art school in Paris, France.Rodolphe Julian established the Académie Julian in 1868 at the Passage des Panoramas, as a private studio school for art students. The Académie Julian not only prepared students to the exams at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts, but offered...

, where he came to know Auguste Rodin
Auguste Rodin
François-Auguste-René Rodin , known as Auguste Rodin , was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past...

 and was influenced by Rodin's impressionistic light-catching surfaces. Back in the U.S. in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 he sculpted saints and apostles for the new Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, officially the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in the City and Diocese of New York, is the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York...

 in 1901; in 1906 he had a group sculpture accepted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

— the first sculpture by a living American the museum had ever purchased—and made his presence further felt with some portraits. He also won the Logan Medal of the Arts
Logan Medal of the arts
The Logan Medal of the Arts was an arts prize initiated in 1907 and associated with the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1917 through 1940, 270 awards were given....

.

After his graduation from Harvard Technical College, his reputation surpassed that of his younger brother, Solon Borglum
Solon Borglum
Solon Hannibal de la Mothe Borglum was an American sculptor. He is most noted for his depiction of frontier life, and especially his experience with cowboys and native Americans....

, already an established sculptor.

A fascination with gigantic scale and themes of heroic nationalism suited his extroverted personality. His head of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, carved from a six-ton block of marble, was exhibited in Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

's White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 and can be found in the United States Capitol Capitol Crypt
United States Capitol crypt
The United States Capitol crypt is the large circular room filled with forty neoclassical Doric columns directly beneath the United States Capitol rotunda and was built originally to support the rotunda, as well offer an entrance to Washington's Tomb...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 A patriot, believing that the "monuments we have built are not our own," he looked to create art that was "American, drawn from American sources, memorializing American achievement" according to a 1908 interview article. His equation of being "American" with being born of American parents—"flesh of our flesh"—was characteristic of nativist beliefs in the early 20th century. Borglum was highly suited to the competitive environment surrounding the contracts for public buildings and monuments, and his public sculpture is sited all around the United States.

In 1908, Borglum won a competition for a statue of the Civil War General Philip Sheridan
Philip Sheridan
Philip Henry Sheridan was a career United States Army officer and a Union general in the American Civil War. His career was noted for his rapid rise to major general and his close association with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S...

 to be placed in Sheridan Circle
Sheridan Circle
Sheridan Circle is a traffic circle in the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Embassy Row. It is named for General Philip Sheridan, Union general of the American Civil War and later general of the United States Army...

 in Washington. D.C. A second version was erected in Chicago, Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, in 1923. Winning this competition was a personal triumph for him because he won out over sculptor J.Q.A.Ward
John Quincy Adams Ward
John Quincy Adams Ward was an American sculptor, who is most familiar for his over-lifesize standing statue of George Washington on the steps of Federal Hall on Wall Street.-Early years:...

, a much older and more established artist and one whom Borglum had clashed with earlier in regard to the National Sculpture Society
National Sculpture Society
Founded in 1893, the National Sculpture Society was the first organization of professional sculptors formed in the United States. The purpose of the organization was to promote the welfare of American sculptors, although its founding members included several renowned architects. The founding...

. At the unveiling of the Sheridan statue, one observer, President Theodore Roosevelt (whom Borglum was later to include in the Mount Rushmore portrait group), declared that it was "first rate"; a critic wrote that "as a sculptor Gutzon Borglum was no longer a rumor, he was a fact." (Smith:see References)

Borglum was active in the committee that organized the New York Armory Show
Armory Show
Many exhibitions have been held in the vast spaces of U.S. National Guard armories, but the Armory Show refers to the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art that was organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors...

 of 1913, the birthplace of modernism
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 in American art. By the time the show was ready to open, however, Borglum had resigned from the committee, feeling that the emphasis on avant-garde works had co-opted the original premise of the show and made traditional artists like himself look provincial. He lived in Stamford, Connecticut
Stamford, Connecticut
Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 122,643, making it the fourth largest city in the state and the eighth largest city in New England...

 for 10 years.

Borglum is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
Forest Lawn Memorial Park is a privately owned cemetery in Glendale, California. It is the original location of Forest Lawn, a chain of cemeteries in Southern California. The land was formerly part of Providencia Ranch.-History:...

 in California in the Memorial Court of Honor. His second wife, Mary Montgomery Williams Borglum, 1874–1955 (they were married May 20, 1909), is interred alongside him. In addition to his son, Lincoln, he had a daughter, Mary Ellis (Mel) Borglum Vhay (1916–2002).


Stone Mountain




Borglum's nativist stances made him seem an ideologically sympathetic choice to carve a memorial to heroes of the Confederacy
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

, planned for Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain
Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome monadnock in Stone Mountain, Georgia, United States. At its summit, the elevation is 1,686 feet amsl and 825 feet above the surrounding area. Stone Mountain granite extends underground at its longest point into Gwinnett County...

, Georgia. In 1915, he was approached by the United Daughters of the Confederacy
United Daughters of the Confederacy
The United Daughters of the Confederacy is a women's heritage association dedicated to honoring the memory of those who served in the military and died in service to the Confederate States of America . UDC began as the National Association of the Daughters of the Confederacy, organized in 1894 by...

 with a project for sculpting a 20 feet (6 m) high bust of General Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

 on the mountain's 800 feet (243.8 m) rockface. Borglum accepted, but told the committee, "Ladies, a twenty foot head of Lee on that mountainside would look like a postage stamp on a barn door."

Borglum's ideas eventually evolved into a high-relief frieze
Frieze
thumb|267px|Frieze of the [[Tower of the Winds]], AthensIn architecture the frieze is the wide central section part of an entablature and may be plain in the Ionic or Doric order, or decorated with bas-reliefs. Even when neither columns nor pilasters are expressed, on an astylar wall it lies upon...

 of Lee, Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

, and 'Stonewall' Jackson riding around the mountain, followed by a legion of artillery troops.

After a delay caused by World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Borglum and the newly-chartered Stone Mountain Confederate Monumental Association set to work on this unexampled monument, the size of which had never been attempted before. Many difficulties slowed progress, some because of the sheer scale involved. After finishing the detailed model of the carving, Borglum was unable to trace the figures onto the massive area on which he was working, until he developed a gigantic magic lantern
Magic lantern
The magic lantern or Laterna Magica is an early type of image projector developed in the 17th century.-Operation:The magic lantern has a concave mirror in front of a light source that gathers light and projects it through a slide with an image scanned onto it. The light rays cross an aperture , and...

 to project the image onto the side of the mountain.

Carving officially began on June 23, 1923, with Borglum making the first cut. At Stone Mountain he developed sympathetic connections with the reorganized Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

, who were major financial backers for the monument. Lee's head was unveiled on Lee's birthday January 19, 1924, to a large crowd, but soon thereafter Borglum was increasingly at odds with the officials of the organization. His domineering, perfectionist, irascible, authoritarian manner brought tensions to such a point that in March 1925 Borglum smashed his clay and plaster models, and he left Georgia permanently. His tenure with the organization was over. None of his work remains, as it was all cleared from the mountain's face for the work of Augustus Lukeman
Augustus Lukeman
Henry Augustus Lukeman was an American sculptor, specializing in historical monuments. He was born in Richmond, Virginia, and introduced to sculpting at age 10 at a boys' club miniature workshop. From 10 to 13 he worked with clay and wood. He then became a pupil of sculptor Launt Thompson until...

, Borglum's replacement, but in his abortive attempt, Borglum had developed necessary techniques for sculpting on a gigantic scale that made Mount Rushmore possible.

Mount Rushmore




His Mount Rushmore project, 1927–1941, was the brainchild of South Dakota state historian Doane Robinson
Doane Robinson
Jonah LeRoy "Doane" Robinson was a state historian of South Dakota who conceived of the idea for the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.-Early life:...

. His first attempt with one of the faces was blown up after two years. Dynamite was also used to remove large areas of rock from under Washington's brow. The initial pair of presidents, George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 and Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, was soon joined by Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

 and Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

.

Borglum alternated exhausting on-site supervising with world tours, raising money, polishing his personal legend, sculpting a Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine
Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

 memorial for Paris and a Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 one for Poland. In his absence, work at Mount Rushmore was overseen by his son Lincoln
Lincoln Borglum
James Lincoln de la Mothe Borglum was an American sculptor, photographer, author and engineer; he was best known for overseeing the completion of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial after the death in 1941 of the project's leader, his father Gutzon Borglum.Named after his father's favorite...

. During the Rushmore project, father and son were residents of Beeville, Texas. When he died in Chicago, following complications after surgery, his son finished another season at Rushmore, but left the monument largely in the state of completion it had reached under his father's direction.

Other works





In 1908, Borglum completed the statue of John William Mackay
John William Mackay
John William Mackay was an American capitalist, born in Dublin, Ireland.-Early years:His parents brought him in 1840 to New York City, where he worked in a shipyard.-Gold and silver mining:...

 (1831–1902), a Comstock Lode
Comstock Lode
The Comstock Lode was the first major U.S. discovery of silver ore, located under what is now Virginia City, Nevada, on the eastern slope of Mount Davidson, a peak in the Virginia Range. After the discovery was made public in 1859, prospectors rushed to the area and scrambled to stake their claims...

 silver baron. The statue is located at the University of Nevada, Reno
University of Nevada, Reno
The University of Nevada, Reno , is a teaching and research university established in 1874 and located in Reno, Nevada, USA...

.

In 1909, Rabboni
Rabboni (sculpture)
Rabboni is a public artwork by American artist Gutzon Borglum, located Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C., United States. "Rabboni" was surveyed as part of the Smithsonian Save Outdoor Sculpture! survey in 1993...

 was created as a grave site for the Ffoulke Family in Washington, D.C. at Rock Creek Cemetery
Rock Creek Cemetery
Rock Creek Cemetery — also Rock Creek Church Yard and Cemetery — is an cemetery with a natural rolling landscape located at Rock Creek Church Road, NW, and Webster Street, NW, off Hawaii Avenue, NE in Washington, D.C.'s Michigan Park neighborhood, near Washington's Petworth neighborhood...

.

In 1912, the Nathaniel Wheeler Memorial Fountain
Nathaniel Wheeler Memorial Fountain
Nathaniel Wheeler Memorial Fountain is located in Bridgeport, Connecticut at the intersection of Fairfield and Park avenues. The fountain was built in 1912–1913 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 4, 1985...

 was dedicated in Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Connecticut. Located in Fairfield County, the city had an estimated population of 144,229 at the 2010 United States Census and is the core of the Greater Bridgeport area...

.

One of Borglum's more unusual pieces is the "Aviator", completed in 1919 as a memorial for James R. McConnell, who was killed in World War I while flying for the Lafayette Escadrille
Lafayette Escadrille
The Lafayette Escadrille , was an escadrille of the French Air Service, the Aéronautique militaire, during World War I composed largely of American volunteer pilots flying fighters.-History:Dr. Edmund L...

. It is located on the grounds of the University of Virginia
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

 in Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville is an independent city geographically surrounded by but separate from Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States, and named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the queen consort of King George III of the United Kingdom.The official population estimate for...

.

Another impressive Borglum design is the North Carolina Monument
North Carolina Monument
The North Carolina Monument is a North Carolina memorial of the American Civil War commemorating the 32 Carolina regiments in action at the Battle of Gettysburg...

 on Seminary Ridge
Seminary Ridge
Seminary Ridge is a dendritic ridge which was an area of Battle of Gettysburg engagements during the American Civil War and of military installations during World War II.-Geography:...

 at the Gettysburg Battlefield
Gettysburg Battlefield
The Gettysburg Battlefield is the area of the July 1–3, 1863, military engagements of the Battle of Gettysburg within and around the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Locations of military engagements extend from the 4 acre site of the first shot & at on the west of the borough, to East...

 in south-central Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

. The cast bronze sculpture depicts a wounded Confederate
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

 officer encouraging his men to push forward during Pickett's Charge
Pickett's Charge
Pickett's Charge was an infantry assault ordered by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee against Maj. Gen. George G. Meade's Union positions on Cemetery Ridge on July 3, 1863, the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Its futility was predicted by the charge's commander,...

. With dramatic flair, Borglum had made arrangements for an airplane to fly over the monument during the dedication ceremony on July 3, 1929. During the sculpture's unveiling, the plane scattered roses across the field as a salute to those North Carolinians who had fought and died at Gettysburg.

Four public works by Borglum are in Newark, NJ: Seated Lincoln
Seated Lincoln
Seated Lincoln is a memorial sculpture by Gutzon Borglum located next to the Essex County Courthouse in Newark, New Jersey. The bronze sculpture of Abraham Lincoln seated at one end of a bench was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt on Memorial Day 1911....

 (1911), Indian and Puritan (1916) , Wars of America
Wars of America
Wars of America is a "colossal" bronze sculpture by Gutzon Borglum containing "forty-two humans and two horses" , located in Military Park, Newark, New Jersey. The sculpture sets on a base of granite from Stone Mountain....

 (1926) , and a bas-relief, "First Landing Party of the Founders of Newark" (1916).

Borglum was an active member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons (the Freemasons), raised in Howard Lodge #35, New York City, on June 10, 1904, and serving as its Worshipful Master 1910-11. In 1915, he was appointed Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Denmark near the Grand Lodge of New York. He received his Scottish Rite Degrees in the New York City Consistory on October 25, 1907. Borglum was a member of the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

. He sat on the Imperial Koncilium in 1923, which transferred leadership of The Ku Klux Klan from Imperial Wizard Colonel Simmons to Imperial Wizard Hiram Evans. Later, he stated, "I am not a member of the Kloncilium, nor a knight of the KKK", but Shaff and Shaff add, "that was for public consumption." The museum at Mount Rushmore displays a letter to Borglum from D. C. Stephenson
D. C. Stephenson
David Curtiss "Steve" Stephenson was an American Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in the U.S. state of Indiana and 22 other Northern states. He is considered to have been one of the most successful Klan leaders up until his downfall after his conviction for murder...

, the infamous Klan Grand Dragon who was later convicted of the rape and murder of Madge Oberholtzer
Madge Oberholtzer
Madge Augustine Oberholtzer was an American schoolteacher who worked and lived in Indianapolis. Kidnapped and raped by D.C. Stephenson, Grand Dragon of the Indiana Ku Klux Klan, she died of a staph infection from wounds inflicted upon her by Stephenson...

.

Canadian artist Christian Cardell Corbet
Christian Cardell Corbet
Christian Cardell Corbet is a Canadian sculptor, painter and designer. He co-founded and was first President of the Canadian Portrait Academy.- Quotes :...

 was the first Canadian to sculpt a posthumous medallion of Borglum. It currently resides at the Gutzon Borglum Museum in South Dakota.

In 1938 Borglum also sculpted the Memorial to the "Start Westward of the United States" which is located in Marietta, Ohio
Marietta, Ohio
Marietta is a city in and the county seat of Washington County, Ohio, United States. During 1788, pioneers to the Ohio Country established Marietta as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory. Marietta is located in southeastern Ohio at the mouth...

. He also built the statue of Daniel Butterfield
Daniel Butterfield
Daniel Adams Butterfield was a New York businessman, a Union General in the American Civil War, and Assistant U.S. Treasurer in New York. He is credited with composing the bugle call Taps and was involved in the Black Friday gold scandal in the Grant administration...

 in Sakura Park
Sakura Park
Sakura Park is a public park, located at the northern-tip of Morningside Heights, New York City. Sandwiched between Riverside Church on the south, the Manhattan School of Music on the east, Grants Tomb on the west, and International House on its northern side, it is a small, but historic, piece of...

, Manhattan.

He also created a memorial to Sacco and Vanzetti
Sacco and Vanzetti
Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were anarchists who were convicted of murdering two men during a 1920 armed robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts, United States...

 (1928), a plaster cast of which is now in the Boston Public Library.

Popular culture

  • Borglum is mentioned in the 1996 film, My Fellow Americans
    My Fellow Americans
    My Fellow Americans is a 1996 American comedy film starring Jack Lemmon, Dan Aykroyd and James Garner as feuding ex-presidents. Lauren Bacall, Esther Rolle, John Heard, Wilford Brimley, Bradley Whitford and Jeff Yagher also appear in supporting performances...

    as having carved Mount Rushmore
    Mount Rushmore
    Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States...

    .
  • Borglum is mentioned in the 2007 film, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets as having to construct the monument at Mount Rushmore in order to disguise the natural, physical landmarks that would lead to the location of the lost city of gold, Cibola.
  • Borglum is a prominent character in the 2010 novel, Black Hills, by Dan Simmons
    Dan Simmons
    Dan Simmons is an American author most widely known for his Hugo Award-winning science fiction series, known as the Hyperion Cantos, and for his Locus-winning Ilium/Olympos cycle....

    .
  • The October 19, 2011 episode of Brad Meltzer's Decoded
    Brad Meltzer's Decoded
    Brad Meltzer's Decoded, , is an American mystery and conspiracy theory investigation television series, produced by Go Go Luckey and Berman/Braun, that premiered December 2, 2010 on the History channel...

    examines a conspiracy theory
    Conspiracy theory
    A conspiracy theory explains an event as being the result of an alleged plot by a covert group or organization or, more broadly, the idea that important political, social or economic events are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.-Usage:The term "conspiracy...

     that Mount Rushmore was actually a white supremacy
    White supremacy
    White supremacy is the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social and political dominance by whites.White supremacy, as with racial...

     monument built for Borglum's KKK contacts.

External links