Thursday, September 28, 2017

Collector Mel Ziegler’s home is alive in stone

Show Us Your Walls
The artist Mel Ziegler in Nashville, with his wall of Mount Rushmore-related souvenirs collected there and across the United States. Credit Jake Giles Netter for The New York Times
NASHVILLE--They call Mount Rushmore the “Shrine of Democracy”: four presidents blasted out of the face of a granite escarpment in the Black Hills of South Dakota. For the artist Mel Ziegler, it’s literally a touchstone. In the mid-1980s, he and his partner, Kate Ericson, stopped there on a cross-country trip and returned home with the four rocks off the rubble at the base of the mountain that would comprise “From the Making of Mount Rushmore,” one of their signature works. His obsession fits the locale: For all of Mount Rushmore’s patriotic themes, tourism is its reason for being. The mountain’s 60-foot faces were the work of Gutzon Borglum, who led the team chiseling and blasting the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. [More]
In the 1980s, Mr. Ziegler and Kate Ericson stopped at Mount Rushmore and gathered a few rocks off the rubble at the base that would make up one of their artworks. “We knew we weren’t supposed to take them,” Mr. Ziegler recalled, “but there weren’t any signs or anything.”