Art of the Grave: The Cemetery Photographs of John D. Woolf

December 1, 2021

John Woolf has spent more than two decades photographing Mount Auburn Cemetery. He appreciates Mount Auburn as an arboretum and place of tranquility. “For years,” he adds, “I have photographed sculpture and architecture, and I have always been drawn to 19th-century iconography of death. All that is there in the Cemetery.” The imagery of mourning figures, ascending souls, and guiding angels are constant themes in Woolf’s work. He portrays memorial art through the aesthetic lens of early photographic processes, finding creative ways of marrying 19th-century techniques with 21st-century digital imaging technology as seen in his image of the Holbrook monument, in Lot 2697 Central Avenue above.


Angels & Cherubs: A self-guided walk of Mount Auburn Cemetery

January 20, 2021

This Self-Guided Walk written by Rev. Rosemarie Smurzynski is intended for the stroller interested in spotting and learning about angels in Mount Auburn Cemetery. Smurzynski has led angel walks in this cemetery, yearly since 2011. Her work is inspired by Janet Heywood (1943-2021), formerly Vice President of Interpretive Programs, in the angel walks Heywood gave between 1995-2005. Heywood began those walks as a way “to go into the gravitas of these go-betweens.”

Download the handout here:

A Work of Art Repaired: The Fagnani Monument

July 1, 2020

If you visit Greenbriar Path this summer, you can now enjoy one of our latest preservation successes: the beautiful floral-shaped monument to Beatrice Fagnani (1855-1857) has been repaired after breaking in half two years ago. Carved in 1857 by Italian artist Patrizio Piatti (c. 1824-1888), the marble pedestal with a sculpted morning glory flower in bloom has been a favorite of visitors and staff alike for many years, and is part of Mount Auburn’s Significant Monument Collection. A tender example of Victorian iconography, the morning glory design symbolized death and rebirth at the time (as the flower closes in the evening and blooms in the morning).