Lot 582: Extraordinary matte-finish 10.25 x 13.5 photo of an early clay model of Mount Rushmore, thoughtfully signed and inscribed in fountain pen, "Greetings to you dear confreres in memory of a wonderful Evening spent with wonderful men and Lorine—to which you added so much to your fine speech—asking and not answering the Eternal urge this artist ever makes to record the greatest in their great moments—to you dear Ralph my affection & love, Gutzon Borglum, Washington, June 6, 1929." In fine condition.
The recipient, Ralph Bradford, was a close friend of Borglum and the manager of the Corpus Christi Chamber of Congress, who employed him while planning the redevelopment of the Corpus Christi waterfront in the late 1920s. Lorine Jones Spontz was the president of the Chamber of Commerce and also a member of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission. Borglum hosted a dinner for the commission on June 6, 1929, at Washington's Willard Hotel, and must have had these concept photographs at the dinner to distribute to his benefactors. With construction already underway, it would be another five years before the first of the presidents' faces would reach completion. An absolutely exquisite piece featuring an image we have never previously encountered.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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