Stanford police seek information on vandalism of Angel of Grief

Police recently received a report that someone had broken off the front left forearm of the monument.

Angel of Grief sculpture

The marble Angel of Grief, a replica of a work by William Wetmore Story, was commissioned by university founder Jane Stanford as a memorial to her brother, Henry Clay Lathrop. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

Stanford police are seeking information and witnesses to recent vandalism of the white marble Angel of Grief statue at the Stanford Family Mausoleum.

The Stanford Department of Public Safety received a report on Tuesday, Aug. 11, that someone had broken off the front left forearm of the Angel of Grief, a popular campus landmark commissioned by Jane Stanford in memory of her brother, Henry Clay Lathrop.

The monument has been vandalized in the past and is costly to repair.

The sculpture was originally placed in 1901 as a replica of a statue originally sculpted by William Wetmore Story and then reproduced for Stanford. Story’s name for the piece was The Angel of Grief Weeping Over the Dismantled Altar of Life.

The sculpture was originally housed inside a dome, which collapsed in the 1906 earthquake. The sculpture was rebuilt in 1908.

The historic memorial sits just north of the marble and granite mausoleum built to entomb the remains of Leland and Jane Stanford and their son, Leland Jr., for whom Stanford University was named. The memorial site in the Stanford Arboretum off Palm Drive is a popular destination for visitors to campus.

Anyone with information about the vandalism or who may know the whereabouts of the missing piece of sculpture is asked to call Stanford police at (650) 723-9633.