Ζωή σε εσάς και να θυμόσαστε

There is an offbeat monument in the Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, VA. It commemorates Thalia Vassilatos Warnement (August 3, 1967 – January 13, 2009). From a distance it looks quite conventional, one of those little be-columned pediments you see all the time. Find a Grave relates that, unhappily, she died far too young, of […]

Thank you, God.

That’s what I said to myself when I got within reading distance of the Lansburgh monument in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C. From three sides it is nondescript freestanding sarcophagus with a lid imitating a temple roof. At the corners are stylized WPA federal style columns, merely sketched in. On one short side it […]

Charles Ladislaus Council Rogers Bass funerary portrait

IN MEMORYOF CHARLES LADIOLANS COUNCIL ROGERS BASS.DIED MARCH 13 1879.THIS MONUMENT WAS ERECTED BY HIS DISCONSOLATE MOTHER,EUGENIA BASS BERTINATTI. Eugenia Patience Bate (1826-1906), who was from Tennessee and later Mississippi, had two husbands. The first, Council Rogers Bass (1810-1855) gave her four children and a plantation to support her when he died obligingly early. She […]

The Rose Keeling Hutchins funerary portrait

Here’s the Egyptian revival mausoleum of the Hutchins-Keeling distended family in Rock Creek Cemetery. “Distended” because we seem to have a case of a well-heeled man, Stilson Hutchins (1838-1912) who married a new wife, Rose Keeling (1867-1926), in 1890. It was a May-December thing, by the looks of it, with her being about 23 at […]

The J. Henley Smith funerary portrait

This is the J[ames]. Henley Smith Mausoleum in Rock Creek Cemetery. It was designed by Worthington and Ahrens, built by Leland and Hall about 1910. The sum budgeted for it was $20,000, with $2000 more made over to the trustees of the cemetery for perpetual care. I would like the trustees to know that the […]

Making Lemonade

I suppose you would probably guess that there were trade journals for granite and marble suppliers and cutters in the great age of public art in this country, from about 1890 to 1930. One such journal, The Monumental News, celebrated the above George E. Lemon monument in its 1898 series. The author has halfway spotted […]

Keepsake!

The Keep monument in Rock Creek Cemetery is visible from a great distance because of its eye-popping pink and verdigris colors. The bronze figures were created in about 1920 by James Earle Fraser, the man who designed both faces of the 1913 buffalo nickel. Before I try to make sense of our sculpture, have a […]

A regular guy

Daniel V. Fenton was an ordinary man. When he died in 1890, shortly after being discharged from the Government Printing Office because the patronage system was then favoring Republicans and he was a Democrat, his wife had a little-known part of his story engraved on his monument. It turns out he came through some of […]

Gentleman and scholar

TRUMAN MICHELSON, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.,HARVARD Born August 11, 1879-Died July 261938, Sanskrit Scholar and Ethnologist Smiths-onian Institution 1910-1938 HIC IACET CATHARINA VXOR CARISSIMATRVMANI MICHELSON QVAE SEMPERDOMVM FELICEM FECITT.M. MORTVA EST JANVARY 23, 1953 Translation of Latin: Here lies Catharine, the very dear wifeto Truman Michelson, who alwaysmade their home happy.T[ruman]. M[ichelson]. She died January 23, […]