Log-a-palooza!

An obsessive quest by Mr. Lloyd to get every conceivable grave furnishing in the rustic style has left us an astonishing, world-class plot in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond.

TFW?!

Here, ladies and gentlemen, is a mausoleum, in Glenwood Cemetery in Washington, D.C., designed by a spooney architect (figure 1). Figure 1. Spooney mausoleum. Glenwood Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author. Now before I go an inch further, let me concede that if you ignore the details and slip the image a little out of focus, …

An astounding performance in Laurel Hill

Figure 1. Levi Franklin and Catharine Drinkhouse Smith monument. Detail: sides 1 and 2. Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA. Photo: author. My eye was caught as I was departing Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia by this unorthodox ‘white bronze’ monument (figure 1). It turns out to be an astounding and unexpected form of self-representation by …

An interesting Scottish funerary portrait

Figure 1. John Scougal, portrait of George Heriot. Public domain because the author died more than 100 years ago. Wikimedia Commons. George Heriot (figure 1), a prominent goldsmith, left money at his death in 1624 to endow a hospital (= charitable school) for ‘puir faitherless bairns’ in Edinburgh. It has since become one of the …

A funerary portrait relief in West Laurel Hill

John W. Forney monument. West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA. Photo: author. Here, in his Sunday best, is John W. Forney (1817-1881), a Lincoln republican who served twice as Clerk of the House and once as Secretary of the Senate of the United States. His day job was as a successful newspaper publisher. If …

The corner problem

Figure 1. Rouss mausoleum, c. 1902. Detail: façade. Mt. Hebron Cemetery, Winchester, VA. Photo: author. The handsome Rouss mausoleum in Mt. Hebron Cemetery in Winchester, VA, is a fine, attentively designed version of a Greek Doric temple (figures 1, 2). Built after Rouss died in 1902, it varies in a dozen ways from the most …

Major General Alexander Macomb

“Died at Washington, the seat of government, 25 June 1841,” reads part of his epitaph. I should think that even in 1841 one wouldn’t have needed to specify that Washington was the “seat of government.” But otiose overdetermination is not why I look at this obelisk (figure 1). Figure 1. Alexander Macomb monument. Congressional Cemetery, …

Ware ye the steamers!

While not jolly reading, it’s nevertheless interesting—and fairly rare—to hear on a monument of an unusual form of death. In Prospect Hill Cemetery (in D.C.), there is a tombstone of Marion Hays Colerider who was “shot and killed” at the age of 17 on 7 December 1900 (figure 1). Figure 1. Marion Hays Colerider monument. …

John Alexander Joyce Monument

“Poet, Soldier, Philosopher” declares the monument of John A. Joyce in Oak Hill Cemetery in Washington, D.C. I figured that this promise, plus the bronze portrait of the man, made his monument worth a second or even a third look. Figure 1. John A. Joyce monument, Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author. There’s a …

Laurel Glen Mausoleum

Anyone wishing to understand portraits in American mausolea must attentively study Laurel Glen mausoleum, the 1881 tomb of John P. Bowman (1816-1891), in Cuttingsville, VT. In this complex are five funerary portraits, all of which appear to have been commissioned by Bowman and put into place before his death. Below is a general image of …

Alien skull on Alexandria tombstone!

Not infrequently I am reminded of the grim demographic realities of human life. All people die, even those close to us, and that is painful and grievous. Yet I find myself consoled by visiting cemeteries: as the cliché goes, when so many better people than I have gone before, can I really be resentful? Still, …

Bennie’s grave

Figure 1. Benjamin Eugitt monument, Bethel Cemetery, Wilkes Street Complex, Alexandria, VA. Photo: author. BENJAMINSON OFBENJAMIN & HARRIETT A.EUGITTDIED DEC. 6, 1888.In his 21st year. The anagraphic data’s dull recitation of facts does not prepare us for one of the simplest, most heartfelt codas I can remember seeing on a tombstone (figure 2): Figure 2. …

An amuse-bouche

While you breathlessly await two fairly substantial posts I have in train, here is a little something to keep you going. It’s the Charles Weber (1855-1947) mausoleum in Loudon Park Cemetery in Baltimore (figure 1). Figure 1. Charles Weber mausoleum, c. 1947. Loudon Park Cemetery, Baltimore, MD. Photo: author. Figure 2. Charles Weber mausoleum. Loudon …

Funerary portraits to order

The reader may know that I am looking into American funerary portraits. Searching turns up a fair number of them, but there is always a question of whether portrait statues or busts in the wild were made for the tomb or were repurposed from a domestic setting. It’s therefore time to touch base with theory, …

Mysteries of Mt. Olivet

Below, and click to enlarge, are images of two astonishing and wonderful mausolea in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Figure 1. Sally [Miller?] mausoleum.Figure 2. Jack and Bessie Frank mausoleum.Figures 1-2. Sally [Miller] and Frank mausolea, respectively. Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photos: author. Both present mysteries. Let’s dive in. On the left, both …

Vernacular monuments III

John Tobey marker, 1951, Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author. John Tobey has a marker about a meter from this wonderful, wonderful concrete cross with embedded marbles at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Washington, D.C. There is nothing else nearby, so I assume the cross was made for his grave. John Tobey plaque, Mt. Olivet …

The big touchdown

JAMES WILLIAM FOSTER monument, Union Cemetery, Leesburg, VA. Photo of the JAMES WILLIAM FOSTER monument: author. That was JAMES WILLIAM FOSTER, in case you missed it. Often you can’t know who is responsible for the text on a funerary monument. Sometimes a shrewd guess is possible, such as when the monument antedates the subject’s death; …

Monumentum mortuis ignotis Terrae Mariae qui bello civili ceciderunt dedicatum

Imagines duo (1, 2) subiunxi monumenti sacri mortuis in illo bello saevo ferocique quod inter se gesserunt cives Americani annos 1861-1865. Imago 1. Monumentum mortuis ignotis Terrae Mariae qui bello civili ceciderunt dedicatum. Facies septentrionalis. Loudon Park National Cemetery, Baltimore, MD. Photo: HABS/HAER/HALS surveys (HALS MD-5). Public domain. Library of Congress. Imago 2. Monumentum mortuis …