The first 2017 event of the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County (PSABC) celebrates one of our region’s most versatile and accomplished Arts and Crafts talents: William Waldo Dodge. Dodge’s creative life will be the subject of a talk by Bruce Johnson on Thursday, January 26, at 5:30 p.m. at All Souls Cathedral in Biltmore Village.
Following a privileged youth that ended abruptly in a World War I trench, Dodge landed in Asheville, where he recovered physically and would thrive creatively. An architect by profession with Asheville commissions that still stand today, Dodge became a woodcarver, painter and silversmith, developing a unique hammering technique for a “waterfall” effect. Today, Dodge’s Arts and Crafts-inspired silver creations are showcased in museums and private collections, including some here in Asheville.
“Dodge was an early inductee into the Southern Highland Craft Guild and both exhibited and helped to promote their annual exhibitions in Asheville,” Johnson says. “His dual career as a silversmith and architect began in 1924, but just as he was achieving regional recognition, the Great Depression struck. At the time, Dodge employed three additional silversmiths and an architectural draughtsman in his Biltmore Forest office and shop. As evidence of his business ability, Dodge not only remained in business through the depression, but kept all four of his employees at work.”
Johnson has long researched and written about Dodge and is the founder and director of the annual National Arts and Crafts Conference, held every February at the Omni Grove Park Inn and now in its 30th year. Those attending this PSABC lecture will receive a half-price ticket for the February 17–19 event.
“William Waldo’s silver legacy lives on,” says Kieta Osteen- Cochrane, PSABC Education Committee chair. “Dodge’s granddaughter, Kirby Ruland, along with her husband and son, owns Grace Jewelers in Black Mountain, which is generously sponsoring Bruce’s January presentation.”
The talk will be held at Zabriskie Parish Hall in All Souls Cathedral, 9 Swan Street in Biltmore Village. While admission is free, a suggested $10 donation supports PSABC’s mission to sustain the heritage of Asheville and Buncombe County through preservation and promotion of the unique historic resources of the region. For more information call 828.254.2343 or visit psabc.org.