Luigi Del Bianco, originally from Meduno in the province of Pordenone, was commemorated Saturday in the presence of his family at the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center where the National Park Service unveiled a bronze plaque that recognizes his work.
Del Bianco studied in Vienna and Venice, before emigrating to the USA at the age of 17 after receiving a letter from a cousin who lived in Vermont in which he mentioned that there is there was work. Later on, his brother-in-law got him a job at Mount Rushmore. Soon his superior realized that he was worth “as many as three men who can be found here in America.” His ability made him stand out from the other workers and, out of 400 carvers on site, Del Bianco was entrusted with the task of refining the expressions on the faces of the monument’s four presidents. When Mount Rushmore designer Gutzon Borglum designated Del Bianco as chief carver, he wrote: “He will have complete charge of the practical ways and means of dealing with the finesse of carving and instructing the other carvers.” It was a very complicated and very important task that he carried out with the mastery appreciated by both his colleagues and Borglum, who, according to the testimonies, “would not have entrusted this to anyone else.” In a 1966, Del Bianco interviewed by the Herald Statesman in Yonkers stated: “I could only see from this far what I was doing, but the eye of Lincoln had to look just right from many miles distant,” adding “I know every line and ridge, each small bump and all the details of that head (Lincoln’s) so well.”
Lou Del Bianco, grandson of Luigi, proudly stated: “Every person that looks at the monument tells me that there is humanity in that granite.”
Ilona Catani Scarlett