Monumental

IN MEMORY OF

CHARLES MATHER FFOULKE

1841-1909

SARAH CUSHING

HIS WIFE

1852-1926

AND THEIR CHILDREN

HORACE CUSHING FFOULKE

1876-1903

GWENDOLINE FFOULKE

1884-1904

CHARLES MATHER FFOULKE II

1889-1912

 

AND

HORACE CUSHING

BELOVED FATHER OF SARAH CUSHING

1819-1865

THE END OF BIRTH IS DEATH

THE END OF DEATH IS LIFE AND

WHERFOR MOURNEST THOU

 

John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum (March 25, 1867 – March 6, 1941) was an American of Danish-American ancestry born in St. Charles, in the Idaho Territory.  His father, Jens Moller Haugaard Borglum, was a wood carver before he studied homeopathic medicine and became a doctor.  Both of the Borglum sons, Gutzon and Solon, were accomplished artists and sculptors.  Gutzon studied art in New York where he became well known for his work.  In fact, President Theodore Roosevelt displayed a sculpture of Abraham Lincoln created by Borglum in the White House.  In the early 1900’s Borglum was commissioned by the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York to sculpt saints and apostles.

Like many artists of his day, including Daniel Chester French, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Aldabert Volck, Felix Weihs de Weldon, Karl Bitter, Martin Milmore, Alexander Milne Calder, T. M. Brady, Albin Polasek, Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, Edward V. Valentine, Sally James Farnham, Adolph Alexander Weinman, and others, Borglum was able to earn his living creating sculptures, public and private.

His best-known work is the iconic Mount Rushmore, which has become the symbol for the state of South Dakota.  Little known, however, is his preparatory work on the Stone Mountain Georgia monument to the Confederacy.  He started working on it, and even completed the design when he became embroiled in a disagreement.  He abandoned the job leaving another artist to complete it.  However, Stone Mountain gave him valuable experience for his later work sculpting presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln on a monumental scale on the side of a mountain.

The Ffoulke family cemetery monument commissioned in 1909 was created by Borglum.   The life-size bronze sculpture depicts Mary Magdalene dressed in a flowing robe and raising her right hand at the moment she recognized that Jesus Christ had risen from the grave.  The biblical scene depicted by the bronze is from John 20:16, “Jesus saith unto her, Mary.  She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”  RABBONI is carved in the base upon which the sculpture rests.  Rabboni is the Hebrew word for Rabbi.

Charles Mather Foulke was a well-known and successful banker in Washington, D.C., who initially made his fortune as a wool merchant in Philadelphia.  He also gained fame for his collection of world renowned tapestries including the 17th Century Barberini tapestries.

 

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