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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, May 10, 2002

New totem pole at Stanford New totem pole at Stanford (May 10, 2002)

A 40-foot, 4,200-pound totem pole was installed on Monday, May 6 in front of Stanford University's Law School.

Entitled "The Stanford Legacy," the pole chronicles the history of the Stanford family and honors their contribution to the university. Among its images are a weeping woman (Jane Stanford) grieving the loss of her son (Leland, Jr.), flanked by children climbing up her tears -- a symbol of enlightenment and hope. The pole is crowned by a child with angel wings -- a tribute to the young boy whose death inspired his parents' dream.

"The Stanford Legacy" was carved in the traditional Haida style by Canadian Don Yeomans, a Native artist. A native of Prince Rupert, B.C., Yeomans has studied and worked in the Haida style since he was a youth (Haida are native residents of British Columbia who spread northward from the Queen Charlotte Islands into southeastern Alaska).

The totem pole, made from a roughly 400-year-old cedar, is a gift to Stanford University from the family of Marcia and Fred Rhemus.

"The Stanford Legacy" is the latest addition to Stanford's outdoor art collection, which includes some five dozen works, including the Rodin Sculpture Garden. It is the university's second totem pole; the first was installed in 1995 in Dohrmann Grove, near Hoover Tower. Entitled "Boo-Qwilla," it was crafted of cedar wood by Art Thompson.
"The Monumental Myth of the Northwest Coast Totem Pole," a free lecture by Aldona Jonaitas, director of the University of Alaska Museum, will take place on May 23 at 5:30 p.m.


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