Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn A Landscape of Lives - Page 11

Avenue ( a tall Celtic Cross ) was the design of Chicago architect Daniel Hudson Burnham , known as one of the founders of the American skyscraper ; he also designed the Flatiron Building in New York City . Another surprise was that the Moulton monument on Vesper Avenue was designed by Cram , Goodhue & Ferguson . Mount Auburn also boasts two examples of collaborative work between architect Stanford White and sculptor Augustus St . Gaudens : the Nevins monument and the Booth monument .
Other times , mysteries would present themselves . While looking at invoices for the Longfellow lot , it appeared that the large sarcophagus that dominates the lot may have been replaced in 1924 ( it was originally installed in 1884 ). However , after reaching out to officials at the Longfellow House in neighboring Cambridge , Meg and I determined that the replacement was never more than a proposal . These kinds of puzzles ( or snares ?) lurk everywhere and it is important to understand and accurately interpret the material so as not to introduce errors into the record .
I included some rarer forms such as the stupa monument on Story Road , the Kepes “ fejfa ” monument posts on Oxalis Path , and the Mountfort monument on Willow Avenue ( a hillside tomb composed of varied pyramidal forms ). These distinctive monument forms add important texture to the overall feeling of the Cemetery .
In addition to the significant monuments , I included a representative sample of more ordinary monuments . I chose notable persons such as Julia Ward Howe and Dorothea Dix ( both on Spruce Avenue ) to document monuments of this type . These stones tend to be unadorned and simple , but also tasteful and elegant in their own way .
Part of my project involved investigating sculptors , architects , artists , and other makers . The Carew brothers ( Joseph and Thomas ) were sculptors well represented here at Mount Auburn . We knew that they emigrated from England and were of Irish extraction , but research revealed that Joseph had a short career in England before
David Russo leads a tour about the topography of Mount Auburn in 2011 .
Massachusetts Historical Commission Record , Form B .
he left . While his training remains obscure , research did turn up two of Carew ’ s early English commissions : a memorial tablet for Sir John Floyd and a sculpture of Dick Whittington , the Lord Mayor of London , as a boy . Further research revealed that , in America , Joseph Carew was an “ Associationist ,” that is , a member of the famed Brook Farm ( a utopian experiment in communal living ) in West Roxbury , who sought to combine Transcendentalism with social reform . Associationist connections likely served him and his sculpting business well .
A few personal insights occurred to me during my research . For example , I realized that Washington Tower and the Bigelow Chapel are both “ follies ”; that is , they are fanciful embellishments to the landscape that emphasize the visual and imaginative pleasures of variety and irregularity .
For this project , the research resources at Mount Auburn Cemetery helped immeasurably . In addition to the paper records in the Archives that include lot cards , correspondence , work orders , and trustee ’ s minutes , the human resources were immensely valuable . The assistance , motivation , commentary , best efforts , and even connections provided by the Curator made my work infinitely easier and more fruitful .
Whoever coined the phrase “ the whole is greater than the sum of its parts ” must have been thinking about a place like Mount Auburn . The bits and pieces that I have captured on the inventory forms together paint a picture of cultural and historical life . But it ’ s the layers upon layers of varied meaning when combined that ultimately create the significance of Mount Auburn .
2017 Volume 1 | 9