Exhibition of Gutzon Borglum’s bronze Portrait of John Ruskin, Gorham Foundry, New York, 1903
This rare 15” bronze statuette of Ruskin was made by the American civic sculptor Gutzon Borglum (of Mount Rushmore Monument fame) after an 1897 visit to Ruskin at his Brantwood estate. Borglum called Ruskin “the most marvelous, magnificent, unappreciated genius the world has ever known.” The statue shows an aged Ruskin, seated, enfolded in a blanket, near the end of his life (Ruskin died in 1900). On his return to America in 1903, Borglum, who until that time had been principally known as a painter, modeled his statue of Ruskin for the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a cast of the statue in 1906 and the Detroit Institute of Art added a cast to its collection in 1919. It appears that Borglum had six statuettes cast by Gorham in this first edition, most of which are now in private hands. There is some uncertainty about the number of casts, and there are later editions (e.g., Roman Bronze Works, also 1903).
The exhibition will include a lecture on the Borglum statue by Ruskin Art Club executive director, Gabriel Meyer. Mr. Meyer’s remarks will also include a brief survey of Ruskin’s impact on American art and social movements at the turn of the 20th century.
A reception will follow the lecture and discussion. The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, email us at: email@example.com.