IMMIGRANT STONE CARVER OF MT. RUSHMORE GETS OVERDUE RECOGNITION
Port Chester, New York (JFK+50) Most Americans know there are four Presidents carved on the face of Mount Rushmore*. Hopefully, they can name them, but most likely they have never heard the name of the man who did the work.
In an article in today's edition of the New York Times, Sam Roberts writes that the National Park Service, just last month, "finally recognized" artist Luigi Del Bianco**'s contribution to the monument. Seventeen year old Del Bianco, of Naples, Italy, was hired by Gutzon Borgham***, designer and engineer of the project. In 1935, Del Bianco became "Chief Carver."
"He is worth any three men I could find in America for this particular type of work. He is the only intelligent, efficient stone carver on the work who understands the language of the sculptor."
Several years ago Nick McMaster of Newser wrote that according to a Vanity Fair/60 Minutes poll, most Americans "would most like to see President Kennedy added to Mount Rushmore." While that prospect is probably most unlikely, as JFK once put it, "I'm for that!"
*Mount Rushmore, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota & originally known as "Six Grandfathers" by the Sioux, was renamed after New York lawyer Charles E. Rushmore in 1885.
**Luigi Del Bianco (1892-1969) was born near Le Havre, France & grew up in Meduno, Italy. He studied stone carving in Vienna & Venice then immigrated to Vermont. LDB returned to fight for Italy in WWI then returned to the US living in Port Chester, NY. LDB went to work on Mt. Rushmore in 1933.
***John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (1867-1941) was born in St. Charles, Idaho Territory. He studied at the Julian Academy in Paris & was sculptor of Abraham Lincoln. JGB worked on the Mount Rushmore project from 1927 to 1941.
"Americans Want JFK on Mount Rushmore," by Nick McMaster, Newser, November 30 2009, www.newser.com/
"The Man Who Put Faces on Mount Rushmore," by Sam Roberts, The New York Times, June 29, 2016.