Friday, September 10, 2010

Monumental Rushmore

Including a visit to Mount Rushmore on our trek west was most enjoyed. Located in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota the national memorial is breathtaking. We arrived at mid morning while the sun shone full into the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, four key presidents in the first 150 years of the nation's history.

The mountain was chosen for its hard granite features and imposing setting. Doane Robinson conceived the idea to promote tourism to South Dakota in 1923 and convinced President Calvin Coolidge, and a leading sculptor of the time, Gutzon Borghum, to undertake the project which lasted from 1927-1941. The faces are 18 meters high and contain intricate facial features.

It's always hard to capture the 360 degree, all encompassing feeling of a place. This sculpture within its setting is dramatic and deeply moving as the four presidents represent key notions of freedom, equality, and justice for all.

When have you felt moved at a beautiful sculpture or monument?

(This evening we are within 70 kilometers of Yellowstone National Park at the foot of the Rockies in Wyoming. Our drive brought us through hair raising switch backs up and down the sides of dramatic mountains. Hope to post an update in a few days about a pivotal national park.)

(I am humbled by the many wonderful comments so far. Thank you.)