I had known for a while that my great grandfather was a sculptor and the family lore is that he had worked on Mount Rushmore with Gutzon Borglum. Recently my mother and father have been doing research and found a great deal of information about his life and work. While visiting me to help me move from NYC to Chicago, my mother and I took a day to travel around Connecticut and visit some landmarks pertaining to my great grandfather’s life.
In their search for works by Karl Lang, my parents got in contact with the curator of the Stamford Museum. She kindly brought out some sculptures of his from storage that had been donated to the museum.
Next we visited a monument at Spring Hill Veteran’s Cemetery. He did this and a few other sculptures while working for the WPA. His sculpting style is very rough. The chisel marks remain so that I can almost see the hand carving them out. I notice that one figure has his arm up and around his head similarly to one of the nude sculptures from the museum.
Last we visited his and my great grandmother’s gravestone. We assume because there was an image of another war memorial he created on his gravestone that boy scouts mistook him for a veteran. Despite the confusion I think it is nice to know someone had visited the grave recently. My mother left a blue rose for both great grandparents that she had found in my apartment when I moved out.
It is really lovely to learn so much about my family heritage. I can’t help but think I have inherited some of my artistic ability and ambition from him. I used to feel detached from my father’s side of the family. I feel a bit closer now and more driven to go further in my pursuit of art.