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Mount Rushmore National Memorial | by Rocco Buttliere
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Mount Rushmore National Memorial

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”


-Theodore Roosevelt


In hindsight, it’s quite difficult not to ascribe quotes like this to the sheer undertaking this project demanded, both in real life and the piece itself. Thinking ahead to my ten-year milestone in March 2019, I first had the idea of modeling Mount Rushmore to mark the anniversary some time in August of 2018. In a “War and Peace” sort of way, the idea simmered for a few months as I began to wrap my head around the at-first overwhelming extent of the final piece. Having visited the monument myself on at least ten occasions during family trips over the years, I knew the only proper way to capture the experience and scale of the place was to also include the visitor center buildings among the preceding foothills of the mountain. With the final vision in mind by early December, I began to design where I knew the greatest challenge awaited: the faces of the Presidents.


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Taken on February 24, 2019