One displays the heroes of the Confederacy—Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson—all on horseback riding across the wide gray canvas that is Stone Mountain near Atlanta, Georgia. The other features four bust-style depictions of famous American presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln—gazing formally from Mount Rushmore over the Black Hills of South Dakota. Each was created out of pride for heritage and nation. Each inspires awe at its size and wonder at the artistic skill necessary to carve such massive.
And each have very different meanings. One is a very nationalistic and patriotic piece featuring four of America’s favorite presidents that was conceived to bring tourism into the area. The other is a monument to the Confederacy led by Southerners who wanted to honor and sustain the Confederate legacy. One honors the United States of America, the other the Confederate States of America. They stand a nation apart, both figuratively and literally (in terms of locations), yet they are connected by the life of one man, the sculptor who set out to complete both projects and ended up finishing neither.Read More