Shown in this undated photo is wood sculptor Wolfgang Flor. Born in 1928 in Germany, Flor escaped from Nazi Germany and later immigrated to the United States in 1951. He married Marie Luise Busz in 1958. Moving to Upshur County, the Flors were among the first wave of back to the earth homesteaders who came to West Virginia.
Wolfgang taught himself to sculpt. Notable among his work of art are Jesus Christ’s 12 apostles that were made from chestnut wood and are displayed in West Virginia Wesleyan’s college chapel. At West Virginia University, a large sculpture entitled “Integration” may be found in the Twin Towers Residence Hall. He taught at several of West Virginian’s colleges and universities.
In 1971, Wolfgang’s barn-studio was dynamited and burned. A Sunday school superintendent at the Salem Methodist Church said the shootings, burnings, and dynamiting were being done by good American citizens who couldn’t stand to see our community ruined by an influx of long-haired youths. The Flors left West Virginia, and Wolfgang died shortly afterwards in 1971.
Photo courtesy of the West Virginia State Archives.
Sources: The Record Delta, Weekly Gettysburgian, and Weirton Daily Times.