John Gutzon Borglum, 1867-1941 [RG0700.AM]


RG0700.AM: John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum, 1867-1941

Speech: 1930
Fremont, Dodge County, Nebraska; Europe; New York; South Dakota: Artist
Size: One folder


Gutzon Borglum, son of a Danish immigrant doctor, was born in Idaho Territory on March 25, 1867. The Borglum family moved to Fremont, Nebraska around 1874. Here Gutzon attended school and developed his interest in drawing. Borglum graduated from Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska and then went to Paris where he trained at the Académie Julian.

Although most famous for his sculpture of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, Borglum was regarded as an accomplished painter as well. He died on March 6, 1941, shortly before the completion of his Mount Rushmore masterpiece. He is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.


This collection consists of several pages of biographical information and a speech from 1930. Entitled, “People’s Memorials and Their Monuments,” this speech, in typescript form, was delivered by painter and sculptor Gutzon Borglum at the annual meeting of the Nebraska State Historical Society. In his speech, Borglum describes the differences between memorials and monuments. He also discusses the special quality of American civilization and America’s special role in the world, emphasizing that American art should be unique and not an imitation of European art. Borglum briefly mentions his projects at Stone Mountain, Georgia and Mount Rushmore. Excerpts of this speech have been published in Nebraska History (Volume 21, p. 287).


Biographical information
Speech, “People’s Memorials and Their Monuments,” Nebraska State Historical Society annual meeting, 1930


Subject headings:

Borglum, John Gutzon de la Mothe, 1867-1941
Mount Rushmore (South Dakota)
Nebraska State Historical Society (Lincoln, Nebraska)


Revised TMM 12-26-2006

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