Who Carved Mt. Rushmore?


Quick Answer

Mount Rushmore was sculpted under the direction of Danish-American artist Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln Borglum. The memorial required a workforce of nearly 400 men and women, and it took 14 years to complete.

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Full Answer

Borglum was born to Mormon Danish immigrants in 1867 in the Idaho Territory. He studied sculpture at the Academie Julian, working alongside and influenced by the noted French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Returning to the United States in 1901, he sculpted pieces for the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In the early 20th century, he began to sculpt pieces that thematically illustrated his interests in heroic national identity. He carved Lincoln's head from a six-ton block of marble and a statue of Civil War General Philip Sheridan. Borglum began a project to carve the likenesses of three Confederate leaders of the Civil War into the side of Stone Mountain in 1923, but he quit the project after clashing with the financial backers.

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