Borglum is most famous, however, for his monumental works. He designed the first of these, a Confederate memorial on Stone Mt., Ga., and began carving it in 1916. The work was interrupted by World War I but was resumed in 1924. As the result of an acrimonious controversy with the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, he ceased working and destroyed his models. Moving to South Dakota, Borglum began work on the gigantic Mount Rushmore National Memorial in 1927. One of the largest sculptural projects in existence, the memorial was also a great engineering feat. Borglum had nearly finished the 60-ft (18.3-m) heads of the four presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt) when he died. Plans for an even more ambitious composition were abandoned and the work was finished (1941) by his son Lincoln. Borglum was a man of tremendous vitality and decided opinions that led him into frequent confrontations. His brother
See R. J. Casey and M. Borglum, Give the Man Room: The Story of Gutzon Borglum (1952); W. Price, Gutzon Borglum, Artist and Patriot (1961); A. M. Davies, Solon H. Borglum (1974); J. Taliaferro, Great White Fathers: The Story of the Obsessive Quest to Create Mount Rushmore (2002).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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