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Solon H. Borglum and Borglum family papers, 1864-2002

Borglum, Solon Hannibal, 1868-1922

Sculptor

The papers of sculptor Solon Borglum and the Borglum Family were digitized in 2006 by the Archives of American Art. The bulk of the papers have been scanned and total 6,193 images. Materials not digitized include a few certificates, writings and notes authored by others, Monica Borglum Davies research files for and drafts of her biography of Solon H. Borglum, some routine financial materials, clippings and magazines, and photographs of artwork.

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.

Collection Information

Size: 11.5 Linear feet

Summary: The Solon H. Borglum and Borglum family papers date from 1864 to 2002 and measure 11.5 linear feet. The collection documents Solon Borglum's personal life and his career as a sculptor specializing in Western themes through biographical material, family and general correspondence, writings and notes, research for his biography, financial and business letters, printed material, photographs and artwork.

Biographical/Historical Note

Solon Hannibal Borglum was born in Ogden, Utah in 1868. His father Jens (James) Borglum and wife Ida emigrated to America in 1864, as Mormon converts. James took a second wife Christina who was the mother of Solon and his older brother John Gutzon de la Mothe. Christina left the family after just a few years, when James left the Mormon Church. James and Ida raised the large family, which included Solon, Gutzon, Miller, Arnold, August, Anna, Harriet, Theodora and Frank. Solon spent most of his childhood in Fremont, Nebraska, and in 1893 he became a ranch hand in Southern California. At this time he also developed an interest in art which he shared with his brother Gutzon, who was studying painting in Los Angeles.

Provenance

Most of the materials in the collection were originally loaned by the Borglum family between 1969-1975 and microfilmed. Much of the same material was later donated in several accretions between circa 1991-2004 by various family members David Borglum, Harriet M. Borglum, Alfred Davies, Harold Davies, Monica B. Davies, Linda Borglum Fry, and Gwynneth Kelly. In 1979 approximately 200 photographs were transferred from the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library to AAA, which had received them from Monica Borglum Davies.

Related Materials

Funding

Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.