Mount Auburn Cemetery attracts over 200,000 visitors per year, and they visit for many different reasons. Families and friends come to pay tribute to loved ones every day, as we continue to do about 500 new burials per year. Others come to enjoy the beautiful landscape, the magnificent trees, the birds and other wildlife, or the amazing collection of funerary art and architecture. Many attend our educational programs and tours, and still others come to study history and learn about the notable residents of Mount Auburn. Some do all of the above.
It is the diverse collection of over 5,000 spectacular trees that no doubt attracts many people to the Cemetery. Nevertheless, it is the combination of the topography, the plants, the wildlife and the monuments and other built structures that make Mount Auburn the unique landscape and National Historic Landmark that it is.
Join us for a Digitization Day where members of the public can bring in a range of paper-based archival cultural heritage materials, such as photographs and letters, that help to tell the story of their community, Mount Auburn Cemetery, and the nearly 100,000 people buried and commemorated there. (more…)
Celebrated restaurateur, cookbook author, culinary television personality, and entrepreneur Joyce Chen was born in Beijing, China on September 14, 1917 and grew up in a highly-regarded family in Jiangsu Jiading, a suburb of Shanghai. She was the youngest in a family of nine children and acquired her English name from her school teacher, who gave her the name Joyce because she was always joyful.
As recounted in her cookbook, the Joyce Chen Cook Book, Chen was always interested in cooking and was encouraged by her mother to learn from the family chef so she “wouldn’t eat raw rice…”
Chen fled the communist regime in 1949 with her husband, Thomas, and their two small children. On the recommendation from Chen’s relative, a Harvard-educated Chinese journalist, they settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, living first on Kirkland Street and a few years later on Alpine Street near Fresh Pond. Soon Chinese graduate students from Harvard, MIT, and Boston University flocked to Chen’s family home to socialize and enjoy the cuisine of Shanghai and Beijing that they missed in America. (more…)
Historic restoration of Bigelow Chapel’s Great Rose Window began this week as part of the larger Bigelow Chapel revitalization project. Located over the entrance door to the Chapel, the large window is an important example of early stained glass in this country. Today, the window is urgently in need of restoration. The glass panels are bowing and cracking, and previous waterproofing repairs obscure the delicate painted glass designs.
The Great Rose Window was commissioned in 1845 by Jacob Bigelow as part of his original design for Bigelow Chapel. Bigelow selected the firm of Ballantine and Allan from Edinburgh, Scotland to furnish the colored and leaded glass, and to work with him on the design. The Great Rose Window is an important record of the firm’s early production and was among the first colored glass shipped to the United States by Ballantine and Allan.
On August 30th, the fragile glass panels were carefully removed from their historic cast-iron frame and were transported to the studio of Serpentino Stained & Leaded Glass Inc. of Needham, Mass, where they will be restored with oversight from Consultant Julie Sloan and Mount Auburn’s preservation and curatorial staff.