Naked lady sculpture at Crater Lake since 1917
September 28, 2000
I remember when I was a small child living in Eagle Point, we drove to Crater Lake. On the way up, we turned on a gravel road to the left, I think. We viewed a naked lady carved on a rock. We had so many ideas how she got there. Do you have any information on this and how would we get there now?
— Donna D., Medford
You may be talking about The Lady of the Woods, Donna. This relatively unknown stone sculpture has graced Crater Lake National Park since 1917.
The lady lives in Munson Valley, near the park headquarters, right behind the visitor center, says park spokeswoman Marsha McCabe. She’s one of the featured attractions on a trail that winds through the woods around the park’s historic buildings.
Dr. Earl Bush sculpted the lady while working for the U.S. Health Bureau. Working without a model, he sculpted a nude female form in deep relief on a granite boulder. Since that means that only part of it is visible in profile, it’s unclear whether the good Dr. Bush intended to sculpt a full three-dimensional figure or chose to leave her unfinished.
No one knows whether he ever returned to Crater Lake to see his work.
He later described her as “my offering to the forest, my interpretation of its awful stillness and repose, its beauty, fascination, and unseen life…”
If you want to see her again, go to the park’s visitor center. They can give you directions.
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