Credit Line: Gift of the Robert A. Wright Estate.
In the permanent collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University.
John G. Borglum was an American artist and sculptor. Borglum was born in 1847 in St. Charles, his father was a woodcarver that eventually went to medical school and later set up his own medical practice. Borglum’s attended Saint Mary’s College for a few semesters and then moved to Omaha, Nebraska. In Omaha Borglum apprenticed in a machine shop and graduated from Creighton Preparatory School. He then trained in Paris at the Academie Julian, this was a private art school. When Borglum returned to the United States he worked in New York City and sculpted Saints and Apostles for the New Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in 1901. In 1906 Borglum had a group sculptor accepted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this was a major accomplishment for Borglum because the museum had never purchased a sculpture from a living American artist. Then, Borglum won the Logan Medal of Arts and he surpassed his younger brother Solon Borglum who was already an established sculptor. In 1908, Borglum won a competition for a statue of the Civil War General Phillip Sheridan, this statue was placed in Sheridan Circle in Washington, D.C. This was another important accomplishment in Borglum’s life because he won over J.Q.A. Ward who was a rival and also much older and a more established artist than Borglum. In 1925 Borglum moved to Texas to work on a monument for trail drivers that was commissioned by the Trail Drivers Association. John Borglum is usually associated with his creation of Mt. Rushmore National Memorial that started in 1927 in South Dakota. He is also recognized for his creation of a bust of Abraham Lincoln that was displayed in the White House by Theodore Roosevelt, the bust is now located in the United States Capital Crypt in Washington, D.C.
Written by Kirsten Brauman, 2017 Farm House Museum Undergraduate Assistant.