Detroit’s Borglum Lincoln Bust still needs repair!

Borglum's Lincoln still awaiting nose repair, Detroit

The copy of Gutzon Borglum’s bust of Abraham Lincoln in Detroit’s Hart Plaza remains unrepaired.  The cement that was used many years ago to repair Lincoln’s nose after vandals broke it has become discolored. It will take a professional artist to perform the repair. The Detroit Institute of Arts was made aware of this need several years ago by this writer. They agree-the work of art needs repair. However, there are two problems preventing the task from going forward: 1) finding a sculptor to do the job; and 2) obtaining the necessary funds. The DIA is aware of a capable sculptor for the work -but he is in Poland. As for the money-well-that’s a problem. As of right now it doesn’t appear that a resolution to this situation is in sight-not even close. That’s a shame. Borglum was a grear artist and the Lincoln bust a great work of art. And, of course, Lincoln is the greatest of the Presidents (in my humble opinion). Alas, like so many of our nation’s monuments and memorials that are slowly falling apart and experiencing the ravages of time and the elements, the Lincoln bust stays in place as a visable reminder of something that used to be cherished but has been largely forgotten in our busy “live for the moment” world.

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5 Responses to “Detroit’s Borglum Lincoln Bust still needs repair!”

  1. Tony D says:

    I don’t believe this is not a replica of anything. This is an original sculpture carved in Carrera Marble by Borglum in 1918, many years prior to Mt. Rushmore. Originally commissioned by Samuel P. Colt of Rhode Island to stand in his business, the U.S. Rubber Company (which eventually became Uniroyal). It later stood on the grounds of the DIA.

    Yes, it’s very sad that it does not get the respect it deserves. Properly restored, its value could be upwards of $100K. There’s got to be a wealthy patron of the arts that can bankroll the fix. It’s def worth it.

  2. B. Nash says:

    So far no one has come forward. Yes, it is a shame that such an important work of art should go on for years now in such condition. However, it only challenges me further. I’ve got some ideas. Let’s hope 2012 sees some favorable movement!

  3. It makes me sad to see stuff like this – I’ve seen “uncared for” public Lincoln art occasionally in various places that I’ve traveled.

    This is a pretty famous work too – this is a replica of the same bust that’s in front of the Tomb here in Springfield and also the one on Mt. Rushmore.

    I know the economy’s bad, but I hope that somebody there can come up with the money to fix it! In fact, I really wish that in this economy we’d support the arts more, like we did during the Depression.

  4. B. Nash says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m planning my next move on this. I’ll keep you posted!

  5. LincolnPhotog says:

    I have visited this work 2 or 3 times, and each time I have hoped to find it repaired.
    It is a real shame that the City of Detroit cannot find a corporate angel like Lincoln-Mercury or another company to fix the money necessary this abomination.

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