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Crazy Horse Memorial sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski first came to South Dakota to work on Mount Rushmore.
Crazy Horse Memorial sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski first came to South Dakota to work on Mount Rushmore.
Crazy Horse Memorial photo
April 28, 2016

IN HISTORY: Korczak Ziolkowski Joins Gutzon Borglum at Mount Rushmore, May 3, 1939

Twelve years into the carving of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, sculptor Korzack Ziolkowski left his home in the Boston area for South Dakota, reported the Christian Science Monitor on May 3, 1939. 

At the time, Ziolkowski held a position as judge of sculpture for the New York World's Fair, where he had three pieces on display. His marble sculpture of Polish prime minister Ignacy Jan Paderewski would win first prize. 

Ziolkowski assisted Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum, although it isn't clear for how long. The carving of Mount Rushmore ended soon after Borglum died in 1941.

Media reports of his work at Mount Rushmore and his World's Fair prize prompted Chief Henry Standing Bear and other leaders to ask Ziolkowski to create a monument to tribal leaders. "My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes, too," Standing Bear is reported to have said to Ziolkowski. 

On May 3, 1947, Ziolkowski moved to South Dakota to begin work on Crazy Horse Memorial, a sculpture that remains in progress near Custer as his children and others work to fulfill his vision. Ziolkowski died in 1982 at age 74, and his wife, Ruth, led work on the Crazy Horse sculpture until her death in 2014. 

 

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