Sculptor, Peter “Wolf” Toth & His Work
Peter Toth is best known as a humanitarian artist with a dream to honor the American Indian. Peter’s work is to “honor human spirits in bondage” and “all men facing injustice”. Peter, his hands poised with hammer and chisel, has traveled throughout America for over 30 years, fulfilling a mission to create his personal gifts of heroic monuments. These Whispering Giants stand 20-40 feet tall, honoring the Native Americans.
Since beginning his mission in 1971, Peter has completed 67 Whispering Giants in all 50 states and Canada, as well as a new sculpture in Hungary, completed in 2008. Peter’s giant statues are prominently displayed in parks, on museum grounds, Indian Reservations, Interstate Welcome centers, and library and courthouse lawns. The smaller statues that Peter creates at his studio have funded his travels and are collected by museums, corporations, and most often by everyday private collectors.
Peter Toth was born behind the Iron Curtain in Hungary in 1947. He was one of 11 children raised in a dirt-floor peasant home. His father farmed, but lost his land to communist injustice. For two years Peter lived in refugee camps throughout Europe. Finally, in 1958, the Toths settled in Akron, Ohio, where 11 year old Peter continued his education in the Akron Public Schools and the University of Akron.
Peter’s early personal experience with injustice in Hungary fostered in him a deep sense of kinship with and empathy for Native Americans, whom he feels were the victims of long abuse and injustice. Peter believes the United States is the greatest country in the world. His love for America and John F. Kennedy’s quotation, “Ask not what your country can do for you . . . ask what you can do for your country,” was the catalyst for Peter’s crusade to honor the American Indian.
Each statue is unique, as the spirit of the Indian is intertwined with the spirit of the tree or stone. They represent a composite of the indigenous Indian people of each state, as seen through the eyes of the artist. It is Peter’s hope that through these monuments people remember that the Indians were and are a proud race of people who inhabited America long before the arrival of Europeans. Our Native People have significantly contributed to our country and the world. “They were the kings of this land,” says Peter. It is his hope that the whisperings of these giants will soften our hearts to form a society of true brotherhood.
The Whispering Giant who resides in our care was created by Peter “Wolf” Toth in October, 1981. He was the 40th statue completed by Peter, and is carved from native Sitka Spruce. He stands 30 feet tall and is 10 feet wide. He weighs about 85,000 pounds. He is nameless, but represents the Alaska Native spirit of this diverse land, as seen through the eyes of the artist. Two towering 12 foot grizzly bears, sculpted by Peter also grace our campus. They stand on either end of our main building, greeting visitors from all over the world. The artist had a chance to revisit his works during October, 2007, when Peter returned for an extensive restoration and conservation of the carvings.
Prince William Sound Community College is honored by these giants and proud to be the stewards of Peter Toth’s artistry. They serve as a reminder of the value of cultural diversity and empowerment. We invite you to come see for yourself why travelers often journey on a quest to see each of these Whispering Giants.
For more information on Peter Toth please visit: www.dcschumaker.com/statues.htm
or you can email Peter at peterwtoth AT yahoo DOT com.