CLOSE
Original image
Stacy Conradt

History In The Making: Why the Crazy Horse Monument Is Taking So Long

Original image
Stacy Conradt

Mount Rushmore may be one of South Dakota’s biggest draws, but there’s a sculpture just down the road that will eventually stand taller than the four colossal presidents.

With an estimated completion height of 563 feet, the memorial honoring Lakota leader Crazy Horse is on track to be one of the largest sculptures in the world. Someday. While the first blast occurred on June 3, 1948, the only identifiable thing that has emerged from the mountainside since then is a face.

Using dynamite to blast tons of pink granite is a tedious process, of course—one that has been slowed even more by Mother Nature. Crews working on the memorial have discovered seams and cracks in the underlying rock that have forced them to veer away from the original plan devised by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski.

Another element that’s slowing the process is funding. Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum battled with federal officials over control and funds. Congress cut off funds in 1941 due to the war. Borglum died a week later, and some combination of the two events meant that the presidents’ bodies were never finished. Ziolkowski, already wary of government promises, watched the whole thing play out and vowed that his creation would be made without a penny of federal funding. Ziolkowski died in 1982, and decades later, his descendants have stayed true to that wish, using only admission fees and private donations to fund the project.

Even without the extensive delays, the project itself is not without controversy. Some Native Americans believe that the sculpture shouldn’t even exist, that defacing a mountain would go against everything Crazy Horse stood for. There’s also no authenticated photographic evidence of Crazy Horse, so some have issues with the accuracy of the depiction.

The Ziolkowski family is aware that Crazy Horse is taking longer than anticipated—their father had originally predicted 30 years—but they’re determined to go at their own pace. “[Korczak] said ‘Go slowly so you do it right,'” his late widow, Ruth, said in 2013. “And, I, for one, would like to have it go faster, but there are so many things that you have to do in order to do it right, that it takes the time."

Original image
Fox Photos, Stringer, Getty Images
arrow
Art
Winston Churchill’s Final Painting Is Going to Auction for the First Time
Original image
Fox Photos, Stringer, Getty Images

While serving as an influential statesman and writing Nobel Prize-winning histories, Winston Churchill also found time to paint. Now, The Telegraph reports that the final painting the former British prime minister ever committed to canvas is heading to the auction block.

The piece, titled The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell, depicts the pond at Churchill’s home in Kent, England, which has been characterized as his “most special place in the world.” A few years after the painting was finished, he passed away in 1965 and it fell into the possession of his former bodyguard, Sergeant Edmund Murray. Murray worked for Churchill for the 15 years leading up to the prime minister's death and often assisted with his painting by setting up his easel and brushes. After decades in the Murray family, Churchill’s final painting will be offered to the public for the first time at Sotheby’s Modern & Post-War British Art sale next month.

Winston Churchill's final painting.
Sotheby's

Churchill took up painting in the 1920s and produced an estimated 544 artworks in his lifetime. He never sold any of his art, but The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell shows that the hobby was an essential part of his life right up until his last years.

When the never-before-exhibited piece goes up for sale on November 21, it’s expected to attract bids up to $105,500. It won’t mark the first time an original Winston Churchill painting has made waves at auction: In a 2014, a 1932 depiction of his same beloved goldfish pond sold for over $2.3 million.

[h/t The Telegraph]

Original image
Ape Meets Girl
arrow
Pop Culture
Epic Gremlins Poster Contains More Than 80 References to Classic Movies
Original image
Ape Meets Girl

It’s easy to see why Gremlins (1984) appeals to movie nerds. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, the film has horror, humor, and awesome 1980s special effects that strike a balance between campy and creepy. Perhaps it’s the movie’s status as a pop culture treasure that inspired artist Kevin Wilson to make it the center of his epic hidden-image puzzle of movie references.

According to io9, Wilson, who works under the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl, has hidden 84 nods to different movies in this Gremlins poster. The scene is taken from the movie’s opening, when Randall enters a shop in Chinatown looking for a gift for his son and leaves with a mysterious creature. Like in the film, Mr. Wing’s shop in the poster is filled with mysterious artifacts, but look closely and you’ll find some objects that look familiar. Tucked onto the bottom shelf is a Chucky doll from Child’s Play (1988); above Randall’s head is a plank of wood from the Orca ship made famous by Jaws (1975); behind Mr. Wing’s counter, which is draped with a rug from The Shining’s (1980) Overlook Hotel, is the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989). The poster was released by the Hero Complex Gallery at New York Comic Con earlier this month.

“Early on, myself and HCG had talked about having a few '80s Easter Eggs, but as we started making a list it got longer and longer,” Wilson told Mental Floss. “It soon expanded from '80s to any prop or McGuffin that would fit the curio shop setting. I had to stop somewhere so I stopped at 84, the year Gremlins was released. Since then I’ve thought of dozens more I wish I’d included.”

The ambitious artwork has already sold out, but fortunately cinema buffs can take as much time as they like scouring the poster from their computers. Once you think you’ve found all the references you can possibly find, you can check out Wilson’s key below to see what you missed (and yes, he already knows No. 1 should be Clash of the Titans [1981], not Jason and the Argonauts [1963]). For more pop culture-inspired art, follow Ape Meets Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Key for hidden image puzzle.
Ape Meets Girl

[h/t io9]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios