Carved into the southeastern face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest are four gigantic sculptures depicting the faces of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. The 60-foot high faces were shaped from the granite rock face between 1927 and 1941, and represent one of the world’s largest pieces of sculpture, as well as one of America’s most popular tourist attractions. Mount Rushmore attracts more than two million visitors annually.
The sculptor was Gutzon Borglum (1867 – 1941)
To carve the four presidential heads into the face of Mount Rushmore, Borglum utilized new methods involving dynamite and pneumatic hammers to blast through a large amount of rock quickly, in addition to the more traditional tools of drills and chisels. Some 400 workers removed around 450,000 tons of rock from Mount Rushmore, which still remains in a heap near the base of the mountain.