RMA hosts Out of Rushmore’s Shadow: The Luigi Del Bianco Story

Lou Del Bianco

Lou Del Bianco

Retired Men’s Association of Greenwich, Inc. (RMA) hosts its next meeting featuring Lou Del Bianco, Out of Rushmore’s Shadow: The Luigi Del Bianco Story on Wednesday, March 14, at 11 a.m., at First Presbyterian Church, Lafayette Place, Greenwich.

The only grandson of stone carver Luigi del Bianco, Lou Del Bianco will tell the story of his grandfather’s principal role in the carving of Mt. Rushmore and the struggle to achieve recognition for his grandfather’s contribution. Recruited by sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the designer and engineer of the project, Luigi worked on the monument intermittently from 1933 until 1940 as Chief Carver. A native of Meduno, Italy he studied stone carving in Vienna and Venice, starting when he was thirteen. When he was eighteen, Luigi immigrated to Vermont to meet the demand for carvers. He returned to Italy to fight in World War I, then came to America in the 1920s and found work in Borglum’s studio in North Stamford.

Borglum had the highest praise for Del Bianco’s skill and fitness for carving the granite on the slope of the Black Hills of South Dakota. “He is worth any three men I could find in America, for this particular type of work. He is the only intelligent, efficient stone carver on the work who understands the language of the sculptor.” Notwithstanding Borglum’s esteem and his critical role in carving the monument, Del Bianco was not even mentioned in the most definitive book on Rushmore. Grandson Lou Del Bianco and Lou’s Uncle Caesar have devoted more than 25 years of research and advocacy to redress this omission and give Luigi the recognition he deserves. Lou’s book, Out of Rushmore’s Shadow, published in September, 2017, recounts this struggle.

Author Lou Del Bianco is also an actor, storyteller and musician. He has performed in one- man shows across the country, from the Kravis Center to Carnegie Hall. He has been an artist-in-residence since 1987 and has worked with many elementary teachers to improve literacy in the classroom. His portrayal of Abraham Lincoln has been endorsed by the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Next Week: March 21, Meg Tocantins, Certified Hypnotist, “How Medical Hypnosis Can Serve Patients”

The Greenwich Retired Men’s Association offers a free program every Wednesday that is open to the public, both men and women; no reservations are required. Social break starts at 10:40 a.m. followed promptly by speaker at 11 a.m. Programs are at the First Presbyterian Church, 1 West Putnam in Greenwich. For additional information see greenwichrma.org or contact [email protected]

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