In the beginning of March, we met Yvonne and Steve in Mission Bay, CA. Yvonne told us to make sure we visited Crazy Horse when we got to South Dakota. Well we didn’t forget! We loved the story that went with this work in progress. Korczak Ziolkowski, an orphan who had no formal art lessons, won first prize for his sculpture Study of an Immortal at the 1939 Worlds Fair. Lakota chiefs asked him to carve Crazy Horse so that Americans might know of the great Indian heroes. Korczak started work in 1948. He was 40 years old and had $174 to his name. Over the years, though he had hard times, he continued his work. He felt Crazy Horse should be built by the interested public and not the taxpayers. He also knew this undertaking would take longer than his lifetime so he left detailed plans and scale models.
His wife Ruth and seven of his children work with Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation to continue his work since his death in 1982. They are currently working on the horse’s head and finishing work on the hand. Millions of tons of rock have been removed. This is the world’s largest sculptural undertaking. The faces of the President’s at Mount Rushmore would fit in the area behind Crazy Horse’s head.
We saw a film about the Ziolkowski family and their dedication to this project and saw models of what they hope it will look like one day. We visited the sculptor studio and home and visited the Indian Museum of North America. We are glad we visited this place to see the dedication one man had to his dream!