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.

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 …

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, …

The artist, the grave, and the sonnet

Figure 1. Augustus Goodyear Heaton. Frontispiece photo from Fancies in Thoughts and Verse (Boston 1904). Public domain. Digitized by Google, in the internet archive. Augustus Goodyear Heaton, a.k.a. Augustus George Heaton, had his middle name legally changed at the age of 78 in 1922. Born in Philadelphia in 1844, he passed much of his career …

The kitchen sink!

If you look, you may find it somewhere in the over-the-top bronze sarcophagus of Benjamin Head Warder in Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Warder made a fortune in agricultural machinery, thanks not least to “The Champion” combined reaper and mower. Benjamin Head Warder monument. Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Photo: author. Benjamin Head Warder …

A Sullivanesque mausoleum in Bala Cynwyd

Figure 1. John Williams mausoleum, West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA. Photo: author. This is a wonderful complex (figures 1, 2). Of course, you can guess that it dates to between about 1890 (Sullivanesque style) and maybe 1920 (crisp neoclassical elements like wreaths). The online records of West Laurel Hill Cemetery do not much …

But “Y” that way, we wonder still

Sometimes when you go through your pictures I assume you discover things you didn’t notice at the time of the snap, as I did here. This is the monument of John Yarrow, born in London, 1800, died in Savannah, 1855. It’s ridiculous. John Yarrow monument, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia. 1855. Photo: author. Please forgive the …

American Funerary Portraits in Glass and Stone

Among the Romans, it was very common, in some periods more than others, to have a portrait of yourself as a part of, or on the premises of, your tomb. It was an assertion of selfhood and existence and social significance before death; or it allowed a commemorator to assert these things for the dead. …