Once again Sculpture Saturday finds us back at the North Carolina Arboretum near Asheville, NC to view Oh Great Spirit, a 12.5 ft (3.8 m) bronze sculpture by Nell Bannister Scruggs.


This sculpture is a copy of the original, one of her first works.  Below is a photo of the artist and the original work.

Thousand Oaks sculptor Nell Banister Scruggs shows her piece “Oh Great Spirit,” a larger version of which, to her great surprise, was dedicated recently by her family at the North Carolina Arboretum in her native Asheville.

Without Scruggs’ knowledge, her son-in-law had three copies made in the 12-foot size.  (I guess he knew there was little chance of being sued.)  Family and friends surprised her with this sculpture when she returned to Asheville in 2009 for a high school reunion.

Although Oh Great Spirit was originally intended to be a generic Native American, the Arboretum accepted the donation from the Scruggs family in light of the history of the Native Americans in that area and a nearby Cherokee reservation.

Oh Great Spirit is now dedicated to the artist’s memory as she passed in 2020.

Sculpture Saturday is a challenge hosted by Susan Kelly at No Fixed Plans.

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