President Alan Chesney’s Photographic Legacy

April 27, 2021

A former Air Force pilot who served 35 missions in World War II, Alan Chesney was president and trustee of Mount Auburn from 1968 to 1988. During that time, Chesney oversaw the sale of 15 acres of land for family lots and single graves, the addition of 4,000 new grave spaces, and the planting of hundreds of trees and shrubs. He also established the Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery (FOMAC) in 1986, a program that continues to promote the appreciation of the Cemetery through its preservation, horticultural rejuvenation, and educational programs. Photo above: Flowering Tree, Wilkinson Monument, Undated.


Art and Inspiration at Mount Auburn

April 2, 2021

Artwork above: Sanctuary by Zhonghe (Elena) Li, July 2020

It is already widely known how many setbacks arts and culture have experienced across all disciplines and media during the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to support an expanded group of artists in 2021, we adjusted Mount Auburn’s artist-in-residence program, which awards one artist a two-year residency, and have made mini-grants to five artists to create original works inspired by the Cemetery during a one-year period. Each of the selected artists will create an original project rooted in their experiences at Mount Auburn.


Winter Hazel

April 1, 2021

Two girls discover

the secret of life

in a sudden line of


              -Denise Levertov

Of all of the various secrets of life, one might include taking pause to observe spring’s cornucopia of floral wonder and beauty. April annually allows aficionados to follow a reliable botanical progression of blossoms. A visual cusp of spring beginning in early April then will transform to a landscape loaded with flowers by time of the month’s end. This predictable pushing forward partially includes early nodding, groundcover of hellebores and inconspicuous overhead flowers of American elms, both easy to walk past unseen. Other horticultural highlights might stop you in your tracks like blue sweeps of scilla, sometimes contrasted beneath the wispy yellow flowers of cornelian cherry. More conventional yellow follows with forsythia. By the month’s full pink moon Mount Auburn’s many ornamental magnolias, cherries and shads will have confirmed to any lingering spring-arrival skeptics we have indeed survived through yet another winter.