Local Author to Talk About Controversial Rushmore Book at American Italian Heritage Museum in Albany

Jul 08, 2014 1340

Capital District author Douglas J. Gladstone, whose new book is a valentine to the obscure Italian American immigrant who served as chief carver of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, will appear at the American Italian Heritage Museum on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 7 p.m. to talk about his controversial work and sign copies of it.

Carving a Niche for Himself ; The Untold Story of Luigi Del Bianco and Mount Rushmore examines the selfless efforts of five time Parent's Choice award winner Lou Del Bianco, a children's performer and storyteller from Port Chester, New York, to honor his late grandfather.

Though Rushmore sculptor and designer Gutzon Borglum's own correspondence in the Library of Congress clearly indicates that Luigi Del Bianco was the glue that held the project together, Del Bianco for some inexplicable reason has never received the credit in scholarly publications or documentaries on the creation of the memorial that many individuals believe he is deserving of.

Among the work they did together prior to Mount Rushmore, Del Bianco worked with Borglum on the Wars of America Memorial in Newark, New Jersey.

The book raises the question of whether or not Del Bianco has been denied recognition due to his heritage, and takes the National Park Service to task for its failure to honor Del Bianco, despite the agency touting a long standing policy of pluralism and multiculturalism.

A native of Meduno in the Province of Pordenone, Del Bianco died on January 20, 1969 of accelerated silicosis that was brought on, in part, by his years of not wearing a mask while working at the monument. His only surviving child resides in West Hollywood.

Gladstone and his family reside in Saratoga County. Carving a Niche for Himself is his second book.

The American Italian Heritage Museum is located at 1227 Central Avenue in Albany. For more information about the event, please call Professor Phillip J. DiNovo at 518-435-1979.

Source: American Italian Heritage Museum

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