Gutzon Borglum - Creater of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota

Essay by amy.skidmoreUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, May 2006

download word file, 3 pages 3.5

Mount Rushmore; many people know it is the national memorial with the gigantic faces of the four Presidents, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson. Mt. Rushmore is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota and if you have been afforded the opportunity to witness the magnitude of the memorial in person, the memory is etched in your mind forever. I visited the memorial in the summer of 1983, when I was 13 years old. I was awestruck by the splendor, size, and beauty of the memorial. An American sculptor named Borglum created Mt. Rushmore in granite on the side of the mountain in the Black Hills.

John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum was born in St. Charles, Idaho Territory, on March 25, 1867. His parents were Danish and it is believed that his father was a Mormon bigamist. His mother was his father's second wife and she was abandoned when Gutzon's father decided to forgo his bigamist lifestyle and remain with his first wife.

Gutzon was famous for changing the story he told of his life, age, and parentage, but this account seems the most accurate and traceable.

At the age of 16, Gutzon's family was living in California, but soon decided to relocate to Nebraska. Gutzon stayed behind in California and began to study painting at the San Francisco Art Academy. One of Gutzon's commissioned works was a portrait of General John C. Fremont, California's first Senator and a Civil War General. Gutzon's relationship with General Fremont opened the door to California's social scene. Gutzon had introductions to men like Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford University, and President Theodore Roosevelt.

Gutzon traveled to Paris in 1889 where he enrolled in the Academie Julian, his primary field of study was the academic approach to sculpting from...