In 1947 Chief Standing Bear of the Lakota invited sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, to the Black Hills to carve Crazy Horse. The sculpture was to be a memorial to the spirit of Crazy Horse and to his people. Korczak started work in 1948. At that time he was 40 and had only $174.
Korczak, a strong believer in free enterprise, felt Crazy Horse should be built by the public and not the taxpayer. Twice he turned down offers of federal funding. He also knew the project was larger than any one persons lifetime. He left detailed plans to be used with his scale models to continue the project. His family has carried on the work since his death in 1982.
Korczak, orphaned at age one, grew up in foster homes in Boston. He never had formal training in art, sculpture, or engineering. He had a dream and a promise to the Lakota.
be strong, be safe, Carlan