Season of Remembrance: Spring 2019

March 25, 2019

We are no longer accepting orders for Spring Floral Tributes. Tributes may still be purchased in-person at our Greenhouse, while supplies last.


Important Dates regarding Spring Floral Tributes:

Tributes ordered through the Cemetery will be placed on the grounds April 18 & 19.

All tributes will be removed during the week of May 6th.

The Nature Plays

March 22, 2019

Tickets are on sale now for The Nature Plays, the first of two series of site-specific plays created by the Cemetery’s first Playwright Artist-in-Residence, Patrick Gabridge. Gabridge’s Mount Auburn Plays will be presented in two sets of 5 unique plays each: The Nature Plays premiere June 1-9, 2019, highlighting stories inspired by the rich natural environment of Mount Auburn with topics such as spotted salamanders in Consecration Dell, birders at Auburn Lake, and historic debates between naturalists who are buried at the Cemetery. Audiences will experience the performances at various spots across the grounds, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the natural world. Each performance will be followed by a discussion.  


All plays will be fully staged with professional actors on the Cemetery grounds. Directed by Courtney O’Connor. Plays will run rain or shine, runtime is approximately 75 minutes and will include walking within the Cemetery on paved and unpaved surfaces; total walking distance approx. 1 mile.

Seating is limited, registration required. To purchase tickets, please select the date and time you wish to attend:

Saturday, June 1, 1 pm
Saturday, June 1, 5 pm
Sunday, June 2, 1 pm
Sunday, June 2, 5 pm
Saturday, June 8, 1 pm
Saturday, June 8, 5 pm
Sunday, June 9, 1 pm
Sunday, June 9, 5 pm


About Patrick Gabridge, Playwright:

Playwright Patrick Gabridge is an award-winning writer of historical and contemporary stage plays, novels, audio plays, and screenplays. His short plays have been produced more 1,000 times in theaters and schools in 14 different countries around the world and appear in various anthologies. His recent site-specific works include Blood on the Snow and Cato & Dolly for The Bostonian Society/Old State House, and Both/And: A Quantum Physics Play for the MIT Museum. In 2018 Gabridge launched Plays In Place, a new company that works in partnership with museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions to develop and produce site-specific theatrical plays and presentations to help engage, entertain, and enlighten visitors in new and vibrant ways. Gabridge’s Mount Auburn plays will be presented in partnership with Plays in Place as one of the company’s inaugural projects.

Support Preservation of Significant Monuments: Whitney and Fagnani

March 17, 2019

Mount Auburn’s collection of monuments and funerary art give meaning and spiritual significance to the Cemetery’s historic landscape. Dating from the early 19th century through to today, every memorial contributes to the qualities that help make the Cemetery “a site of comfort and inspiration to the bereaved and the public as a whole.” The wide-ranging diversity represented in the monuments, from contemporary flush markers to lavish Victorian sculptures, helps create the aesthetic richness and unique texture of Mount Auburn’s designed landscape.

Monument commemorating Beatrice Fagnani (1855-1857) is urgently in need of repair.

Preserving our historic monuments and buildings is a priority, and a challenge. After years of exposure to New England weather, many monuments, particularly marble memorials, now require an extra level of care and maintenance to protect and stabilize them. Beginning in 2014, the Friends of Mount Auburn has been working closely with Cemetery preservation and curatorial staff on a multi-year initiative to raise funds to conserve the most significant monuments on our grounds. To date, seven significant monuments have been professionally treated by a sculpture conservator working with the Cemetery. Plans are currently underway for conservation of the Whitney and Fagnani monuments. Both memorials are urgently in need of care and conservation.

Delicate morning glory sculpture commemorating Beatrice Fagnani (1855-1857). Photo by Greg Heins, 2014.

Beatrice Fagnani Monument

1857 Marble sculpture of a morning glory flower

Sculptor: Patrizio Piatti (c.1824-1888)

The delicate morning glory sculpture commemorating Beatrice Fagnani (1855-1857) has eroded and cracked over time. The monument is urgently in need of repair and conservation as the flower has broken in half and is being carefully stored inside until repairs are possible. Carved out of Italian marble by the sculptor Patrizio Piatti in 1857, this significant monument is a tender example of Victorian iconography. The morning glory flower, with its fluted form and overlapping leaves, closes in the evening and blooms in the morning, symbolizing death and rebirth. The inscription on the small pedestal is a poem by Maria White Lowell. Conservation will include washing the monument, carefully re-attaching the broken flower and filling any voids or cracks, and treating the monument with a stone consolidant to slow deterioration.


The morning glory sculpture commemorating Beatrice Fagnani (1855-1857) has eroded and cracked over time and is urgently in need of repair. The flower has broken in half and is being carefully stored inside until repairs are possible

Charles Whitney Monument

1883 Marble sarcophagus with sculpture of an angel and putto on a raised pedestal

Sculptor: Nicola Cantalamessa-Pappotti (1833-1910)

The dramatic Whitney Monument was commissioned by Charles Whitney (1828-1887) for his lot at Mount Auburn. Photo by Greg Heins, 2014.

The dramatic Whitney Monument was commissioned by Charles Whitney (1828-1887) for his lot at Mount Auburn. Whitney, who operated one of the largest lumber enterprises in the United States, commissioned the sculptor Nicola Cantalamessa-Papotti to create the large, marble memorial in 1883.

Putto on raised pedestal of Whitney Monument. Photo by Greg Heins, 2014.

The monument depicts a magnificent angel with outstretched wings atop a large sarcophagus with a putto (a winged figure of a child) holding two floral wreaths at its base. Significant losses are evident, including the large, ornate left wing of the angel and the right foot of the putto which have both been broken off.  The monument also shows signs of considerable erosion, and there are cracks and fissures throughout the marble. Conservation treatment will include washing the entire surface of the monument, removing dark gypsum crusts with a handheld laser, repointing the joints in the granite stones that make up the base, filling in all cracks and voids in the marble, and applying consolidant to the marble to stabilize the surface and slow further loss.

Donate today and join us in preserving our most significant monuments, please click here. Or contact Jenny Gilbert, Director of Institutional Advancement at 617-607-1970 or jgilbert@mountauburn.org.

Open Position: Preservation Craftsperson I

March 14, 2019

POSITION SUMMARY:

The Preservation Craftsperson participates in all stages of monument repairs and preservation, re-setting monuments, foundation repairs and new foundation installations, and other preservation based masonry repairs, assists in preservation and conservation work and general preservation maintenance work throughout the cemetery. The Preservation Craftsman ensures all work on site appropriately reflects the Statement of Preservation Values and Commitments approved by the Trustees of the Cemetery on December 12, 2007, and is performed in accordance with appropriate standards and best practices in preservation and conservation.  

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

*Perform work on historic masonry throughout the cemetery including mausoleums, monuments and other grave markers and assist with project assessment of materials and conditions.

*Perform preservation and contemporary carpentry projects.

*Perform repairs to cast iron fences.

*Assist in the management of the Preservation Services Building workshop keeping tools and equipment maintained and functioning properly and ensure that materials are stocked and stored in an organized and safe manner.

*Assist and communicate effectively with onsite contractors.

*Assist with surveying the cemetery grounds for loose, leaning or potentially unsafe memorials, mausoleums, lot fences, etc.

*Assist with record keeping, maintaining field notes of work performed and photo documentation and the input of this information by computer into the appropriate preservation department database.

*Must adhere to all safety rules and procedures and utilize appropriate protective equipment and guards. Bring all workshop and job site safety concerns to the attention of direct supervisor or member of the safety committee.

*Ability to operate a variety of power tools safely and effectively.

*Work cooperatively with members of other departments and act as a “team player”, assisting other staff as necessary when short-handed or requiring additional help.  Among other things, assist with snow removal, facilities maintenance, and/or the set-up or breakdown of chapels for memorial services, meetings or events.

*Present a good professional image in dress and grooming. Remain respectful of the sacred and contemplative nature of the Cemetery always and be respectful, courteous and helpful to all visitors.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:

*High School diploma required and some college level courses desirable.

*Valid driver’s license required.

*Minimum of one year of practical preservation experience required.

*Two years of preservation training or the equivalent of preservation field work or schooling.

*Ability to identify stone types, evaluate conditions and recommend repairs and treatments.

*Ability to balance efficient maintenance needs with sensitive preservation concerns.

*English language reading, writing and speaking skills required. Knowledge of Spanish language desirable.

*Ability to communicate effectively with cemetery staff, lot owners, visitors and outside contractors or vendors.

*Ability to be flexible as work demands change.

*Must be able to operate a variety of hand and power tools safely and effectively including but not limited to cordless and corded drills, circular saw, table saw, miter saw, angle grinder, reciprocating saw, and bench grinder.

*Basic computer skills required and the ability to use a mouse and/or standard keyboard and computer equipment. 

REQUIRED PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

*Ability to access all areas of the Cemetery grounds and buildings including walking up and down stairs, entering confined spaces, and navigating varied terrain.

*Ability to climb and work from all manner of ladders, scaffolding, and aerial work platforms.

*Ability to move both within a workshop and normal office environment.

*Ability to bend, walk, kneel, stoop, crouch, stand and reach over head for long periods of time. 

*Ability to lift and carry heavy materials (maximum 80 lbs.).

*May be required to work outdoors in any season or weather condition.

*Work can be stressful especially during busy seasons.

All employees of Mount Auburn Cemetery are “at will’ employees and must adhere to Mount Auburn’s “Code of Conduct.”

Mount Auburn Cemetery is an equal-opportunity employer.  It does not discriminate in employment opportunities on the basis of race, color, ancestry, religion, gender, national origin, age, pregnancy, citizenship status, physical or mental ability, military status, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.

To apply please submit a cover letter and resume, as MS Word documents, by email to jobs@mountauburn.org stating the job title in the subject line.  You can also mail a cover letter and resume to Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, Attention:  Human Resources.  No telephone calls please.