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The Legacy of Gutzon Borglum: Carving America's History in Stone

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Explore the life and controversial ties of sculptor Gutzon Borglum.

description: an anonymous image showing an artist at work, chiseling away at a large stone sculpture.

It's not exactly 'National Treasure: Book of Secrets,' but South Dakota's famous Mount Rushmore does have a bit more going on than meets the eye. Behind the iconic faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt lies the story of sculptor Gutzon Borglum.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was deeply involved with the Ku Klux Klan while designing the Confederate memorial at Stone Mountain outside Atlanta. This affiliation has raised questions and controversy surrounding his legacy.

The bronze-cast statue sits just steps away from the front of the Historic Essex County Courthouse in downtown Newark — a gleaming testament to Borglum's artistic talent and craftsmanship.

Contractors scurried on the form of Mount Rushmore, drilling and jackhammering to construct the famous faces and heads of four presidents in what would become one of America's most iconic landmarks.

Ignoring the many 'no pets' signs, a man on the trail to the world's largest Confederate monument was leaping from one controversy to another, inadvertently highlighting the ongoing debates surrounding Borglum's work.

Mount Rushmore has stood the test of time, weathering storms and a variety of extreme conditions for nearly 100 years. Borglum's dedication to his craft and attention to detail ensured the monument's longevity.

Who, if anybody, deserves a place alongside George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt on the famous monument? The selection of presidents has sparked debates and discussions about representation and national identity.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum led the creation of this monumental masterpiece with the assistance of 400 additional workers, leaving an indelible mark on American history and art.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began carving the images of four U.S. presidents into Mount Rushmore on Oct. 4, 1927. The effort employed 400 people and showcased Borglum's visionary approach to capturing the essence of American leadership.

As controversy continues to surround Gutzon Borglum's affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan, his impact as an artist cannot be denied. His work on Mount Rushmore and other sculptures has left an enduring legacy, inviting both awe and scrutiny.

gutzon borglummount rushmoreconfederate memorialstone mountainhistoric essex county courthousesculptureku klux klanpresidentscontroversymonumentconstructionworkerslegacy

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