Category: News

Documentary Ranks Mount Auburn Among “World’s Greatest Cemeteries”

June 1, 2022

Mount Auburn Cemetery was recently featured on PBS in the documentary series World’s Greatest Cemeteries. It is an honor for us to see our hallowed resting places, beautiful grounds, and dedicated staff receive national recognition.

The episode also features interviews with David Barnett, former Mount Auburn President & CEO, as well as Bree Harvey, our Vice President of Cemetery & Visitor Services. It’s rare for us to get a chance to speak directly to such a large audience, telling our story of Mount Auburn’s unique, multi-faceted role as a vibrant urban green space, public garden, and historic site – not just within Greater Boston, but as a destination for tourists, history buffs, and nature lovers from around the world.

The show, produced and hosted by Roberto Mighty, introduces PBS viewers to Mount Auburn’s pioneering role as the first rural, or garden, cemetery in the United States. It explores the lives of several prominent people laid to rest on our grounds, including Dorothea Dix, a pioneering advocate for the mentally ill, and Edmonia Lewis, a renowned 19th-century African-American/Native-American sculptor. It also features dramatizations of several stories, including a freedom seeker-turned philanthropist, and a medical student’s sacrifice during the Smallpox Epidemic of 1849. (Preview the episode featuring Mount Auburn here.)

We are truly grateful to Roberto, who has helped to elevate Mount Auburn’s profile and introduce us to thousands of new community members. This comes at a time when Mount Auburn needs new friends, visitors, and supporters more than ever. Mount Auburn was featured in this series because of its rich and impactful history, but rather than rest on what we have already done, we are aligning the organization for a bright future. Today, we need support at all levels so that Mount Auburn can continue to redefine what cemeteries can be.

The best way we can do that is for our existing community to tell their friends, family, and networks that Mount Auburn is worthy of their support, long after the series is finished. We depend on your generous donations to keep our 175 acres of greenspace, monuments, buildings, and collections well-cared for and thriving, as well as to support our robust roster of arts and educational programming.

Here’s how you can help: ·

  • Join or renew your membership to Friends of Mount Auburn.
  • If you don’t already, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Encourage your friends and family to visit us, in person or virtually.

Thanks as always for your support. We hope to see you at Mount Auburn soon!

More:

Visit Elena Li’s “The Art of Living Together” Exhibit, March 2022

February 25, 2022

After a productive year in Mount Auburn’s cohort of Artists-in-Residence, Zhonghe (Elena) Li is exhibiting work from her project, “The Art of Living Together,” at the Watertown Free Public Library in March 2022. Supported with a grant from the Watertown Cultural Council, “The Art of Living Together” will include Chinese papercuts and watercolors to show the delicate balance between people and nature and interconnectedness of all beings, inspired by Li’s observation of wildlife, plants and trees, and her reflection on life and death over Mount Auburn’s 175-acre landscape. 

Red papercut artwork of birds sharing a fish
Watercolored papercut by Elena Li

You can find the exhibit in the second floor gallery space of the Watertown Free Public Library (123 Main Street, Watertown, MA) through the end March 2022 in conjunction with the Library’s One Book, One Watertown programming.

Visit the exhibit anytime during open hours, or attend a special program:

Gallery reception, March 9, 6:00 pm

Chinese papercutting workshop, March 26, 2:30 pm

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Watertown Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.