The most wonderful mausoleum in the world

We look into a mausoleum and into another age, an age long gone and as dead as the cadavers within. And yet somehow a colored photograph of a hot summer day brings an immediacy and life to the departed. I hear cicadas and the cascade of water. A gentle breeze occasionally rustles the leaves. The father is yelling at them to BE STILL.

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 …

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 …

P.M.G.

Joseph Peck monument, Glenwood Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author. I note first that the marker has been vandalized in the past and carefully restored. Who vandalizes a grave? P                          GMERECTED BY HIS COMRADESTHE PRESIDENT’S MOUNTED GUARDIN MEMORYOFENSIGN JOS. CHAP. PECKWHO DEPARTED THIS LIFESEPTR 1ST 1857IN THE 24TH YEAR OF HIS AGE There doesn’t seem to be …

The Victor Blundon and Mr. Knickers portrait

Blundon monument, Glenwood Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author. Apart from the Schnebels, who died decades earlier, the burials here fall in the period from 1936 to 1959. The first of the “modern burials” is that of Victor, who takes the siege d’honneur in the bas relief, and whose death presumably occasioned the commission of the …

Hard Knox

George William Knox monument, Glenwood Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author. Let’s look at this monument before we consider the man, except to date the monument to the period probably soon after his death in March 1892. The monument is run-of-the-mill bog standard for the 1890s, an obelisk influenced both by the Egyptian revival and the …

The Mary L. Allen mausoleum portraits

Mary L. Allen mausoleum, Glenwood Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author. Aside from the brief anagraphic snippet on an infant’s monument given below, I know little about Mary L. Allen. I think I know that she was born in Ohio in 1850, that she died in 1924, and that she is buried in the mausoleum shown …

The Roberts mausoleum portrait

Roberts mausoleum, St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Washington, D.C. 1913. Photo: author. The St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Washington, D.C., would be a triple boon for those seeking to study Catholic iconography, but not very promising for those of us seeking funerary portraits. Or so I thought until I poked my nose into the Roberts mausoleum, …

Charles Ladislaus Council Rogers Bass funerary portrait

Charles Ladislaus Council Rogers Bass monument, 1880. Detail: inscription. Oak Hill Cemetery, Georgetown. Photo: author. 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 …

The Rose Keeling Hutchins funerary portrait

Here’s the Egyptian revival mausoleum of the Hutchins-Keeling distended family in Rock Creek Cemetery. Hutchins-Keeling mausoleum. Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author. “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 …

The J. Henley Smith funerary portrait

J. Henley Smith Mausoleum, Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author. 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 …