D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Sprinza Weizenblatt Collection
P2009.12.01 (Virtual)

weiz_006.jpg (250471 bytes)
"Sprinza Weizenblatt" [weiz_006] Sprinza Weizenblatt Collection,
D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville 28804

Title Sprinza Weizenblatt Collection
Creator Hertha Horowitz (niece)
Alt. Creator Sprinza Weizenblatt
Identifier http://toto.lib.unca.edu/findingaids/mss/weizenblatt_sprinza/default_weizenblatt.html
Subject Keyword Sprinza Weizenblatt ; Weizenblatt Health Center ; university supporters ; Hertha Horowitz ; physicians ; ophthalmology ; women physicians ; health ; Jewish heritage in Western North Carolina
Subject LCSH Weiznblatt, Sprinza
Physicians -- North Carolina
Physicians, Women -- History -- North Carolina
Ophthalmologists -- United States -- Biography
Jews -- North Carolina -- Asheville -- Sources
Jews -- Southern States -- History
Description A virtual collection of assorted photographs (18) donated by Hertha Horowitz that visually recall the Asheville ophthalmologist who generously donated the Weizenblatt Health Center at University of North Carolina Asheville and a small memorial garden (now no longer extant) that once graced the entry area of the Botanical Gardens at UNC Asheville. The plaque for the Weizenblatt Health Center reads: "Sprinza Weizenblatt, M.D., Ophthalmologist, friend of humanity, and generous benefactor who has made Asheville and this university a finer place in which to live. April 27, 1987."

The collection also includes a series of postcards that have also been donated by Hertha Horowitz.
Publisher D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville 28804
Contributor n/a
Date original 2009-02-27
Date digital 2009-03-18
Type Collection ; Image
Format Variously sized prints
Source P2008.09.1
Language English
Relation Women in Western North Carolina, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Mary Parker Oral History in Voices of Asheville Oral History Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Dr. Mary Frances (Polly) Shuford Oral History in Voices of Asheville Oral History Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Pat Dodd Oral History, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Francis Hulme (1909-198?) in the Southern Appalachian Writers Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ; Carolina Mountain Club Archive, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNCA ;
Coverage Temporal 1920's-1975
Coverage Spatial Asheville, NC
Rights Any display, publication or public use must credit D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville. Copyright retained by the authors of certain items in the collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Donor Donor number: 338
Acquisition 2009-02-27 : Second acquisition from Sharon Fahrer 2012-01-10 included small group of photographs and printed materials
Citation Sprinza Weizenblatt Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville 28804
Processed by Special Collections staff, 2009 ; 2012, HP
  • Postcards
  • Documents
  • Photographs
Items List
Box Item Description Thumbnail
online only weiz_p030 Dedication of the Weizenblatt Health Center.
  weiz_033-weiz_059 Postcards: Some chronicle correspondence while others feature only the image. weiz_053b.jpg (297653 bytes)
P2009.12.01 weiz_001 Passport photograph, showing Sprinza Weizenblatt as a young girl.

Sprinza Weizenblatt (1895-1987) was born in what is now Rumania in the province of Bukovina in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. She and her family fled to Vienna, Austria before World War I in order to escape persecution.

Sprinza raised prize-winning orchids, which she said reminded her of a bird's eye. She knew the Latin names of many flowers and had a love of nature, which she accredited to her father.
weiz_007.jpg (523458 bytes)
  weiz_002 Sprinza Weizenblatt as a young girl. weiz_005.jpg (363250 bytes)
  weiz_003 Sprinza Weizenblatt, portrait. weiz_002.jpg (161611 bytes)
  weiz_004 Sprinza Weizenblatt. weiz_004.jpg (250471 bytes)
  weiz_005 Informal lunch to welcome Pat Dodd, one of the area's first women surgeons. Sprinza Weizenblatt gave her an orchid corsage as a welcoming gift. This picture was taken in Asheville in the late 1950s in front of the Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC.

According to an interview with Dr. Dodd, these types of informal luncheons would happen among the women doctors occasionally as a social gathering.

Seated, L to R: Charmen Carroll (psychiatrist), Irma Henderson, Louise Galloway. Standing: Margery Lord (second from left), Polly Shuford (third from left), Pat Dodd (fourth from left), Sprinza Weizenblatt (fifth from left). [?]
weiz_005.jpg (280474 bytes)
  weiz_006 Social lunch meeting at another physician's house in the 1970s.

L to R: Edith Hutto, Sprinza Weizenblatt, unknown, and Pat Dodd.
weiz_018.jpg (234258 bytes)
  weiz_007 Emory University Ophthalmologic Seminar, April 4-5-6, 1946.

Sprinza Weizenblatt was the only woman pictured at this Seminar. (Top row, to right of center.)
weiz_001.jpg (345781 bytes)
Sprinza Weizenblatt, seated and standing. weiz_004.jpg (710935 bytes)
weiz_006a.jpg (352295 bytes)
  weiz_009 Sprinza Weizenblatt. weiz_009.jpg (466292 bytes)
  weiz_010 The Weizenblatt Health Center. Funding to build the Center, located at the University of North Carolina Asheville, came from Sprinza's generosity. weiz_010.jpg (203959 bytes)
  weiz_011 Building sign placed in front of the new Weizenblatt Health Center. weiz_011.jpg (337171 bytes)
  weiz_012 Dedication plaque for the Weizenblatt Health Center at UNC Asheville. weiz_012.jpg (231647 bytes)
  weiz_013 The Sprinza Weizenblatt memorial garden. [Garden was removed when Weaver Blvd. was extended and a parking lot installed in front of the Botanical Gardens at UNCA.] weiz_013.jpg (346065 bytes)
  weiz_014 The poet, violinist and drama critic, Francis Pledger Hulme, who grew up in Buncombe County, in conversation with Sprinza Weizenblatt. [Location unknown.] weiz_015.jpg (304307 bytes)
  weiz_015 Carolina Hiking Club. On back of the photo: "In memory of the Grandfather Mt. trip and a wonderful time. (August 3, 1946) Gladys Rowland." weiz_016.jpg (684400 bytes)
  weiz_016 Friends and group at Grandfather Mountain with the Carolina Hiking Club [Carolina Mountain Club].  Sprinza on lower left.

As intense about her hobbies as she was about her patients, Sprinza was an outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed backpacking in the Smoky Mountains and was an active member of the Carolina Mountain Hiking Club, the oldest hiking and trail maintaining club in Western North Carolina. (Sprinza is in the checked shirt in the front row on the left)

weiz_003.jpg (1203663 bytes)
  weiz_017 Friends and family group at Grandfather Mountain with the Carolina Hiking Club [Carolina Mountain Club]. Sprinza on top row with white scarf. weiz_017.jpg (909597 bytes)
  weiz_019 Trip to Mexico with Clementine 'Clemmie' Douglas Weaver. Sprinza Weizenblatt on the left.

Sprinza loved to travel and went all over the world, including Nepal, Russia, China where she observed acupuncture, Morocco, Kyoto, Japan and to Southern Africa with a group of physicians to care for people suffering from eye diseases. Pictured above on the left she is on a trip to Mexico with Clementine Douglas, a weaver and owner of the Spinning Wheel Craft Shop.
  weiz_020 Young Sprinza Weizenblatt.
  weiz_021 Sprinza Weizenblatt on the left. [On the back of photo: "Semi hazy"]
  weiz_022 Sprinza Weizenblatt (on left) on a camping trip.
  weiz_023 Group of doctors and nurses. Sprinza Weizenblatt on the top row, fourth from the left.

Vienna Eye Clinic (1927). In a tumultuous political time in Austria this poor Jewish woman overcame the odds against her success and was able to study through merit scholarships and a focused determination. Ranked first in her class, she was glad to wear her white medical coat to hide her worn clothing underneath. Sprinza is in the center of the photo in the second row 7th from the left.
  weiz_024 Sprinza Weizenblatt, 78 years old.
  weiz_025 Carolina Hiking Club. Sprinza Weizenblatt on right.
  weiz_026 Carolina Hiking club; Sprinza Weizenblatt at right.
  weiz_027 Sprinza Weizenblatt at Addoton Camp in Maine 1951, Deer Island. [On back of photo: "Did it get away?"]

Sprinza, just 4 feet 11 inches, was true to her name, Esperanza, which is from Latin, meaning "to hope". She was direct, Germanic and professional with her patients, with a decidedly impish side. She was determined to learn something new every day. Dr. Anne Sagberg, an Asheville psychiatrist, remembered the first time she saw Sprinza, in 1956 at the age of 60; she was walking around the Chuck Wagon (Good Grub Restaurant and Appalachian Motel in Blowing Rock, NC) swimming pool on her hands. Sprinza took up surfing at the age of 70, and backpacked through Alaska carrying a 50-pound knapsack and pitching her own tent while in her 80s. She sent her great niece a postcard saying that Alaska was wonderful, but she was having a little difficulty with the tent!
  weiz_028 Sprinza Weizenblatt on a hike.
  weiz_29 Sprinza Weizenblatt, 80 years old.
  weiz_31 Sprinza Weizenblatt, 1985 [Print is in Weizenblatt vertical file]
  weiz_32 Sprinza Weizenblatt on her 90th birthday [Print is in Weizenblatt vertical file]

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