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.
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.