Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum was an American-born sculptor famous for carving the monumental presidents’ heads at Mt. Rushmore, as well as other famous monuments and historical sculptures. Unquestionably one of the greatest American sculptors ever – he was the first living American to have a sculpture purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art – he was also known for using dynamite on a lot of his finest pieces.
The only thing bigger than his world-renowned talent and the size of his sculptures were the legends of his extremely difficult personality, and the grandiose and extreme political views he often fell prone to (including a brief stint in the KKK in the 1920’s).
These have left him with a legacy as fractured as the sculptures he took dynamite to (including one of the faces on Mt. Rushmore 2 years after starting work on it).
While we can’t vouch for his personality or his views, we can vouch for the humor of the name Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum, and even moreso, by his full title upon his ascendancy in the Freemasons, with whom he rose from a Worshipful Master in 1910 to an even more incredible title in 1915:
Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Denmark near the Grand Lodge of New York, Mr. Gutzon Borglum
No funny names list would be complete without that mouthful.
Gutzon Borglum holds a significant and fascinating place in American history.