|Birth Day:||March 25, 1867|
|Death Date:||March 6, 1941(1941-03-06) (aged 73)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Birth Place:||St. Charles, Idaho, United States, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Gutzon Borglum died on March 6, 1941(1941-03-06) (aged 73)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S..
The son of Danish immigrants, Gutzon Borglum was born in 1867 in St. Charles in what was then Idaho Territory. Borglum was a child of Mormon polygamy. His father, Jens Møller Haugaard Børglum (1839–1909), came from the village of Børglum in northwestern Denmark. He had two wives when he lived in Idaho: Gutzon's mother, Christina Mikkelsen Børglum (1847–1871), and her sister Ida, who was Jens's first wife. Jens Borglum decided to leave Mormonism and moved to Omaha, Nebraska where polygamy was both illegal and taboo. Jens Borglum worked mainly as a woodcarver before leaving Idaho to attend the Saint Louis Homeopathic Medical College in St. Louis, Missouri. At this point "Jens and Christina divorced, the family left the Mormon church, and Jens, Ida, their children, and Christina's two sons, Gutzon and Solon, moved to St. Louis, where Jens earned a medical degree. (Jens) then moved the family to Nebraska, where he became a county doctor". Upon his graduation from the Missouri Medical College in 1874, Dr. Borglum moved the family to Fremont, Nebraska, where he established a medical practice. Gutzon Borglum remained in Fremont until 1882, when his father enrolled him in St. Mary's College, Kansas.
Back in the U.S. in New York City, he sculpted saints and apostles for the new Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 1901; in 1906 he had a group sculpture accepted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art— 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. His reputation soon surpassed that of his younger brother Solon Borglum, already an established sculptor.
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.
In 1908, Borglum won a competition for an equestrian statue of the Civil War General Philip Sheridan to be placed in Sheridan Circle in Washington, D.C. A second version of General Philip Sheridan was erected in Chicago, Illinois, in 1923. Winning this competition was a personal triumph for him because he won out over sculptor J.Q.A. Ward, a much older and more established artist and one whom Borglum had clashed with earlier in regard to the National Sculpture Society. 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 married Mary Montgomery Williams, on May 20, 1909, with whom he had three children, including a son, Lincoln, and a daughter, Mary Ellis (Mel) Borglum Vhay (1916–2002).
In 1909, the sculpture Rabboni was created as a grave site for the Ffoulke Family in Washington, D.C. at Rock Creek Cemetery.
In 1912, the Nathaniel Wheeler Memorial Fountain was dedicated in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Borglum was active in the committee that organized the New York Armory Show of 1913, the birthplace of modernism 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 moved into an estate in Stamford, Connecticut in 1914 and lived there for 10 years. He sheltered Czechoslovak Legion members on his land at Stamford in 1917.
Borglum was initially involved in the carving of Stone Mountain in Georgia. Borglum's nativist stances made him seem an ideologically sympathetic choice to carve a memorial to heroes of the Confederate States of America, planned for Stone Mountain, Georgia. In 1915, coinciding with the Klan-glorifying, highly successful The Birth of a Nation, he was approached by the United Daughters of the Confederacy with a project for sculpting a 20-foot (6 m) high bust of General Robert E. Lee on the mountain's 800-foot (240 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 of Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson riding around the mountain, followed by a legion of artillery troops. Borglum agreed to include a Ku Klux Klan altar in his plans for the memorial to acknowledge a request of Helen Plane in 1915, who wrote to him: "I feel it is due to the KKK that saved us from Negro domination and carpetbag rule, that it be immortalized on Stone Mountain".
Memorial to Robert Louis Stevenson at Baker Cottage, Saranac Lake, New York. Unveiled in 1915.
In 1918, he was one of the drafters of the Czechoslovak declaration of independence.
One of Borglum's more unusual pieces is the Aviator completed in 1919 as a memorial for James Rogers McConnell, who was killed in World War I while flying for the Lafayette Escadrille. It is located on the grounds of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In 1922, he crafted a sculpture of William D. Hoard in what is now the Henry Mall Historic District on the campus of the University of Wisconsin.
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, who were major financial backers of 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, authoritarian manner brought tensions to such a point that in March 1925 Borglum smashed his clay and plaster models. He left Georgia permanently, his tenure with the organization over. None of his work remains, as it was all blasted off the mountain's face for the work of Borglum's replacement Henry Augustus Lukeman. In his abortive attempt however, Borglum had developed the necessary techniques for sculpting on a gigantic scale that made Mount Rushmore possible.
In 1925, having only completed the head of Robert E. Lee, Borglum was dismissed from the Stone Mountain project, with some holding that it came about due to infighting within the KKK, with Borglum involved in the strife. Later, he stated "I am not a member of the Kloncilium, nor a knight of the KKK," but Howard Shaff and Audrey Karl Shaff claim that "that was for public consumption." The museum at Mount Rushmore displays a letter to Borglum from D.C. Stephenson, the infamous Klan Grand Dragon who later was convicted of the rape and murder of Madge Oberholtzer. The 8x10 foot portrait contains the inscription "To my good friend Gutzon Borglum, with the greatest respect." Correspondence from Borglum to Stephenson during the 1920s detailed a deep racist conviction in Nordic moral superiority and strict immigration policies.
In 1925, the sculptor moved to Texas to work on the monument to trail drivers commissioned by the Trail Drivers Association. He completed the model in 1925, but due to lack of funds it was not cast until 1940, and then was only a fourth its originally planned size. It stands in front of the Texas Pioneer and Trail Drivers Memorial Hall next to the Witte Museum in San Antonio. Borglum lived at the historic Menger Hotel, which in the 1920s was the residence of a number of artists. He subsequently planned the redevelopment of the Corpus Christi waterfront; the plan failed, although a model for a statue of Christ intended for it was later modified by his son and erected on a mountaintop in South Dakota. While living and working in Texas, Borglum took an interest in local beautification. He promoted change and modernity, although he was berated by academicians.
Another Borglum design is the North Carolina Monument on Seminary Ridge at the Gettysburg Battlefield in south-central Pennsylvania. The cast bronze sculpture depicts a wounded Confederate officer encouraging his men to push forward during Pickett's Charge. Borglum had also 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.
His statue of Harvey W. Scott was completed in 1933 and stands at the peak of Mount Tabor, Portland, Oregon.
In 1939 when German troops marched into Poland they destroyed Borglum's statue of Woodrow Wilson located in Poznan.
Borglum died in 1941 of a heart attack and is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.
Currently, Gutzon Borglum is 156 years, 2 months and 6 days old. Gutzon Borglum will celebrate 157th birthday on a Monday 25th of March 2024. Below we countdown to Gutzon Borglum upcoming birthday.
Happy Birthday, Gutzon! | Black Hills Travel Blog
That's right - Gutzon Borglum, the famous sculptor who chiseled Mount Rushmore, was born on this day back in 1867...