The Story Of Mt. Rushmore Comes Alive Through Picture Scanning
Unique Monument To Presidents Attracts Millions of Visitors Annually
A visit to South Dakota wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Mount Rushmore.
It’s a majestic sight that captivates children and adults alike, a living history lesson enjoyed by all. Mount Rushmore is magnificent in person, but it’s even more impressive if you get to know the story behind it. Thanks to picture scanning technology, we have to ability to tell our children and students that story through compelling images as well.
The larger-than-life mountainside carvings of Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt are the work of John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum. Born in 1867 in Idaho, Gutzon – as he was best known – trained as a lithographer’s assistant in California and later studied and worked in France, among other European countries. In the United States, he gained major recognition with a marble bust of Abraham Lincoln, followed by the head of Robert E. Lee and others on Stone Mountain in Georgia (though it no longer exists as he envisioned, but that story is for another time). In 1925, Gutzon started plans for the creation of Mount Rushmore. He died in 1941, so his son, James Lincoln Borglum, took over the final details.
Lincoln became the sculptor and first National Park superintendent at Mount Rushmore, but he had been involved in the project long before that. He had traveled with his father, Gutzon, on their first scouting trip of the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1924. A year later, Gutzon chose Mount Rushmore, named after New York City attorney Charles E. Rushmore, as the site of the monument.
Thanks to picture scanning, we have photographic records of both father and son, along with other key players who made this incredible, awe-inspiring sculpture possible. Doane Robinson recruited Gutzon to do the carving and John Boland raised significant funds. Congressman William Williamson and Senator Peter Norbeck also provided noteworthy support. Thanks to all of them, we have a unique landmark that nearly three million people visit each year.
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