Arts

The William Root House In Marietta Creates A New Sculpture To Honor Enslaved Individuals Of The Area

The William Root House Museum and Garden is located in Marietta, GA.
The William Root House Museum and Garden is located in Marietta, GA.
Credit Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society
KSU students made a 3D scan of living history interpreter Misha Harp for this sculpture. (KSU School of Art and Design)

An effort is underway to honor the memory of enslaved people in Marietta before the end of the Civil War. Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society has partnered with Kennesaw State University School of Art and Design to unveil a new garden sculpture at the William Root House in Marietta. “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes spoke with Trevor Beemon, Executive Director of Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society, and sculptor Page Burch, the Master Craftsman Program Director KSU, about the historic building and its new art piece.

Beemon shared how William Root, a town druggist who ran a pharmacy, cultivated the garden at the house to supply medicinal herbs for his business – herbs which are still grown and preserved there today. An 1830s log cabin was donated to The Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society from Cobb County to be installed on the property. This cabin is used to represent where the enslaved residents lived and worked in the garden, where the new sculpture will honor their memory. 

“[The Society] wanted it to be a figurative memorial sculpture,” said Burch, “but they wanted it to mimic the way the enslaved people were treated – they wanted them only to be seen when they wanted them to be seen.” Beemon went on, “It will be thin vertical strips of metal, so when you approach the statue, you won’t even really be able to tell that it’s there… I almost want people to be surprised when they do finally notice it.” He continued, “This enslaved population was an enormous population in Marietta, almost 45% … Nobody recorded their names, nobody recorded their histories.”

KSU students used advanced scanning technology to 3D scan living history interpreter Misha Harp in order to use it as the sculpture’s design. A 3D print of the scan created a model for the future sculptor to make a full-size replica. Cobb Landmarks hopes to raise $10,000 for the project to transform the garden at the Root House. 

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