Funerary Art

A beautiful but rather avoided topic, cemeteries are repositories of cultural anthropology. These memorials are the last record and often the last expression of…
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sunbeams shine through the trees in an old cemetery
Okunoin
Okunoin is Japan’s largest cemetery, with over 200,000 graves & memorial monuments spanning a bit over 1 mile. Opened in 835 AD, many gravesites belong to monks & feudal lords. It houses the mausoleum of Kūkai, founder of the Shingon school of esoteric Buddhism. Mount Kōya, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.
a stone grave surrounded by rocks in the woods
Eldren M. Bailey, artist | Find-A-Grave
A look at the work of Eldren M. Bailey, a self-taught mason & artist who created headstones for Black cemeteries in the Atlanta area. Bailey’s style is consistent enough to be recognizable: a standing rough concrete slab with names & dates hand-carved into a plaster inset. Honorific titles are always included (Mr., Mrs., Miss) & most are topped by an artistic symbol — frequently a rosette, garland, or sometimes a cross. Each stone is engraved with the name of one of several African American funeral homes with which he worked: Cox, Hanley, Ivey, Sellers, Haugabrooks, & others.
a cemetery with many statues and trees in the background on a cloudy, overcast day
The Wooldridge Monuments
A set of historical monuments located in Maplewood Cemetery of Mayfield, Kentucky were built for Colonel Henry G. Wooldridge from 1892 until Wooldridge's death on May 30, 1899. They commemorate his family members. The grouping includes his 2 favorite dogs, a deer, a fox, & Wooldridge astride his favorite horse. The lot has been called "The Strange Procession Which Never Moves."
an old cemetery with many headstones and trees in the background
Opinion: ‘Until we meet again, brave little cat.’ The heartbreak and taboo of burying our pets | CNN
Opinion: ‘Until we meet again, brave little cat.’ The heartbreak and taboo of burying our pets | CNN
an old cemetery with many headstones in front of it and a house on the other side
Who Was the Mysterious Woman Buried Alone at the Pet Cemetery?
Who Was the Mysterious Woman Buried Alone at the Pet Cemetery? - The New York Times
several white poles in the middle of a field with trees and grass on either side
She lived in a New York hotel for more than 40 years. But her life was a mystery
She lived in a New York hotel for more than 40 years. But her life was a mystery : NPR
an old cemetery with stone benches and moss covered trees in the background, surrounded by spanish moss
‘Tombstone tourists’ find the beauty and joy in cemetery visits | CNN
‘Tombstone tourists’ travel to the world’s coolest cemeteries | CNN
many headstones are shown in the grass
Opinion: ‘Until we meet again, brave little cat.’ The heartbreak and taboo of burying our pets | CNN
Opinion: 'Until we meet again, brave little cat.' The heartbreak and taboo of burying our pets | CNN
an artistic image of a cemetery surrounded by trees
Want to Lead a Better Life? The Secret Is in the Cemetery. (Published 2023)
Want to Lead a Better Life? The Secret Is in the Cemetery. - The New York Times
a blanket is laying on top of a grave
Russian ballet great Rudolph Nureyev
The beautifully intricate mosaic of an Oriental carpet recalls Nureyev's Tatar heritage. Interment at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Russian Orthodox Cemetery, established in 1927 just outside Paris. Most of those buried here came in the first great wave of Russian émigrés fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution. They include ballet prodigy Rudolf Nureyev, filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, Nobel literature laureate Ivan Bunin, aristocrats such as Prince Felix Yusupov, & members of the imperial Romanov family.
a man in bee suit standing next to some beeshives
Royal beekeeper tasked with informing queen’s bees of her death
Royal beekeeper tasked to inform queen's bees of her death
two men standing next to each other in front of a grave
The Caretakers of Baby Land | NPR
More than 30 years ago, Johnnie Haire & the other groundskeepers built a garden site just for children, in the 30-acre Sunset Gardens of Memory cemetery. They added a birdbath & bought angel figurines, carefully painting each one a hue of brown. Haire wanted the angels to be Black, like many of the children laid to rest here. The caretakers' job is physical, emotional work done in all seasons, all weather. Heartbreak is everywhere. Yet they hold their own hearts together.
an angel statue sitting in the middle of a cemetery
At Celebrity Cemetery, Nature Takes on Starring Role | NY Times
Père-Lachaise was established in 1804. Today some 1.3 million individuals are interred within its 110 acres, a figure equal to about half of Paris’s living population. The ‘golf green’ maintenance regimen meant gallons of pesticides were used. That finally changed in 2015 with a ban on weedkillers. Now Père-Lachaise is becoming an important urban haven for the plants & wildlife coming back to delight visitors - which now include birdwatchers among the historians & tourist celebrity seekers.
several people are working on some kind of stone block in the dirt and grass area
Decades of Black history were lost in an overgrown Pennsylvania cemetery until volunteers unearthed more than 800 headstones | CNN
Decades of Black history were lost in an overgrown Pennsylvania cemetery until a group of volunteers unearthed more than 800 headstones | CNN
the headstone for susan c reed, who was murdered in 1932
Wonderland
Inscription on base : "Sue's gone down the rabbit hole into wonderland." Francis Cemetery in Girard, Erie County, Pennsylvania