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Category: Artist  Listing Date: 2015-02-10

Accademia Italia honors Rushmore Worker

Accademia Italia honors Walter Long

Walter K. Long poses with award he has received from the Accademia Italia, Italy's leading arts organization. Long is director of the Cayuga Museum of History and Art. Photo by Sam DeRosa

Accademia Italia honors Walter Long

AUBURN - Accademia Italia has awarded its Gold Medal of Achievement to Walter K Long, director of the Cayuga Museum of History and Art.

The medal has been registered in the Golden Book of the Academy, Italy's leading organization in the arts. This nomination was made in the town of Salsomaggiore.

Long was recognized several years ago in the Royal Society of Arts of London England and is registered in the art catalogs of Germany and France. He is listed in Who's Who in the East in American Art and in American Education as well as International Directory of Arts, Fellow of the Museum Association, Rochester Museum Association, Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences and Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters, Switzerland. He has been recognized locally for his achievements in many artistic areas, and was recently made a Paul Harris Fellow by the Auburn International Rotary Club.

He is also director and designer of the The Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center and is preparing for its opening early in May.

The article above appeared in the Auburn Citizen in 1981

Walter K Long was a worker on Mount Rushmore but his contributions and accomplishments go well beyond his time in South Dakota.

Occasionally you encounter descendants of Rushmore Workers that embellish the importance of the departed. That's understandable. Evan wannabe writers will change history or fictionalize events to sell books. It's gratifying to find workers whose life's accomplishments stand on their own. One such Rushmore Worker was Walter K Long.

"He was quite a legend here in Cayuga County." said a Research Assistant in the Cayuga County Historian's Office, Auburn, NY.

Walter Long

see Walter K Long obituary

In The Auburn NY Citizen Advertiser, Sunday September 16, 1979 by SCOTT CONROE
One day, when Prof. Walter Long was in high school, he idly wrote in the margin of his notebook: "Let mine be a life of action and reality."
It has been.

Long points to a large photograph which shows the George Washington bust on Mount Rushmore.

"See that little bug clinging to Washington's nose?" he asks. "That little bug is me in 1935."

Long's role in carving of Mount Rushmore was to study small busts of Washington and help Danish artist Gutzon Borglum plan the construction of the final sculpture.

"It took very careful designing," he explains, noting that the pair had to plan where the light would reflect so that details would be visible.

Conroe's article continues:
Long's list of memberships and honors is massive. He has been named to Who's Who in the East, in American Art, and in American Education, and is a member of the International Institute of Arts and Letters in Switzerland, the Royal Society of Arts in London, the Society of Cinema Collectors and Historians, and numerous others.

He is especially proud of his being named Teacher of the Year by the International Society of Art in 1964, and of his teaching at the Sorbonne in France and at Rochester Institute of Technology. He has also designed scientific instruments for Welch-Allyn, Kodak, and Bausch and Lomb.

On the local level, Long has been a member of numerous organizations, including Auburn Rotary Club, the Owasco Valley Model Railroad Club, and the Cayuga County Historian's Association. He was county historian for many years.

Long has been a teacher since be graduated from college, and he insists teaching is still his first love. After his tenure at S.U., he taught at several colleges before joining the faculty at what was then Auburn Community College. He has since retired, but still holds painting classes at the museum.

"We are endowed with a desire to know ourselves, and you don't get to know yourself unless you do things."

Walter Long must know himself very well.

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