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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Thomas Wolfe Memorial Angel, Asheville

  • Type

    Statue

  • Subjects

    Historic Cultural Figures

    Personal Monuments

  • Creator

    Dan Millspaugh, Sculptor

  • City

    Asheville

  • County

    Buncombe

  • Description

    This statue, located in Asheville's main town center, is placed in memory of Thomas Wolfe. The monument depicts a bronze-draped angel wearing a wreath with its head bowed and its right hand outstretched. The monument stands approximately seven feet in height.

  • Inscription

    On bronze plaque on the monument's front, facing North Pack Square: THOMAS WOLFE / MEMORIAL ANGEL / "WHEREON THE PILLARS OF THIS / EARTH ARE FOUNDED, TOWARD / WHICH THE CONSCIENCE OF THE / WORLD IS TENDING - A WIND IS / RISING, AND THE RIVERS FLOW." / THOMAS WOLFE / YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN / PRESENTED BY / THE UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE / CONFEDERACY / CHAPTER 104

  • Custodian

    City of Asheville

  • Dedication Date

    October 3, 1983

  • Decade

    1980s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.594880 , -82.551220 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Thomas Wolfe," NCpedia.org (accessed November 1, 2014) Link

      Campbell, John, Jr. "Angel Unveiled in Pack Square," Asheville Citizen-Times, October 4, 1983.

      Millspaugh, Dan. "Tom Wolfe Memorial Angel," Public Art Archive (accessed May 30, 2014) Link

      Moore, Bill. "Area Sculptor Selected to Create New 'Wolfe Angel'," Asheville Citizen-Times, February 23, 1983.

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, Granite

  • Sponsors

    United Daughters of the Confederacy, Chapter 104

  • Monument Cost

    $6450

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    An unveiling took place on the occasion of what would have been Thomas Wolfe's 83rd birthday. Dr. Richard S. Kennedy, President of the Thomas Wolfe Society, spoke at the event. Dr. Carol Starnes McCanless, William H. Starnes, Jr. (children of the former UDC president, Helen Hale Starnes, who was the driving force behind the statue) and James W. Daniels of the North Carolina Transportation board official unveiled the statue. Following the unveiling was a luncheon in honor of the monument's sculptor.

  • Nickname

    Wolfe Angel

  • Subject Notes

    The monument stands in the former location of William Oliver Wolfe's monument shop. It was at that shop that W. O. Wolfe used a pre-made angel statue as advertisement. This monument is said to have been based on that original marble grave marker, which is referenced in Look Homeward, Angel. W.O. Wolfe sold the original angel in 1906 as a grave marker to the Johnson family of Hendersonville and still stands as the family's plot marker in Oakdale Cemetery.

    Many believe that Wolfe's novel, Look Homeward, Angel portrayed Asheville and its people negatively. As a result, his works were banned from Asheville's public libraries and Wolfe did not feel safe returning home for several years following its initial publication.

  • Location

    The monument is located in front of the Asheville Art Museum (2 South Pack Square) and faces northwest towards North Pack Square.

  • Landscape

    The monument stands in a large courtyard made up of bricks and cement. On either side of the monument are two rows of trees and simple benches.

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