The Tiffany-designed 1914 Swan Memorial in the Bronx’s Woodlawn Cemetery is being restored after over a century of deterioration in the open air.
Honor the memory of suffragists in New York City at these memorials for the movement’s leading figures.
The sprawling 19th-century cemeteries whose monuments and mausoleums dot the United States are often short on hands to preserve their heritage.
Although it’s an art form more associated with medieval cathedrals, there is stunning stained glass in New York City.
Cemeteries are like indexes of a city’s history, listing the names of its deceased from famous to forgotten in an endless litany.
Up in the Bronx, at the end of the line of the 4 train, is a “remarkable museum of American funerary art,” as the wall text for Sylvan Cemetery: Architecture, Art and Landscape at Woodlawn at Columbia University’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery puts it.
How do you get people to see theater in a Bronx cemetery at three in the morning? Don’t tell them where they’re going.
As a last final statement, artists’ tombstones don’t disappoint. From the wildly eccentric to those that incorporate their own creations, the graves of artists are a fascinating reflection of their work.
Stepping through the gates of Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, you are first awed by the sheer number and size of the mausoleums that tower over its more than 400 acres. Once you begin to explore this 19th century city of the dead, you discover the incredible details that went into all these personal memorial estates, from the ornate metal gates to the bronze, granite and marble statuary, and then peaking through the doors you see bursts of color in delicate stained glass. You notice the sculptures of familiar cemetery motifs of angels and mourning ladies, but also highly personal tributes by some of the most recognizable 19th and 20th century artists.
When Woodlawn Cemetery was established in the Bronx in 1863, the art of funerary commemoration was in its height. That era of memorial sculpture ended, and most of us are laid to rest under somber slabs of dark granite with only the barest of ornamentation. Patricia Cronin saw the revival of this tradition as a way to not only create a lasting tribute to her and her wife’s love on their burial plot in Woodlawn, but to build a memorial to a marriage she thought they would never be able to have.