Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn President Bill Clendaniel Retires | Page 22

People and Happenings Far left: Painting in original condition before con- servation. Left: View of Forest Pond, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachu- setts, c. 1840s. Oil on canvas, 14-1/4 x 181/4 inches, after conservation. Chambers Painting of Vanished Pond Acquired By Meg Winslow, Curator of Historical Collections Chambers Painting Unveiled On June 3 the newly cleaned and conserved Thomas Chambers painting View of Forest Pond, was unveiled. Meg Winslow, Curator of Historical Collections, and Bill Clendaniel show off the new acquisition. We are enormously pleased that, thanks to many generous donations, we have recently acquired an oil painting attributed to Thomas Chambers, an itinerant painter who lived in Boston during the mid-19th century. The painting depicts an area within the Cemetery once known as Forest Pond. This work was said to have been inspired by an engraving of Mount Auburn by William Henry Bartlett. Although the pond itself no longer exists—having been filled in during the early 20th century—the scene, with its marble monuments, sloping hillsides and lush tree canopy, is recognizable today. This is just a wonderful purchase for Mount Auburn. The Cemetery has several hand-painted versions of the Bartlett print and a newly acquired and quite unique chalk-and-charcoal study of the same location. These works all depict, in different media, a beautiful and picturesque area of Mount Auburn that was much loved by artists. Birch Gardens – the Landscape Takes Shape By Candace Currie Director of Planning & Cemetery Development Birch Gardens—a shared memorial designed by Halvorson Design Partnership of Boston—continues to take shape here at Mount Auburn (see photo at right), on schedule for an opening later this year. Situated along the Coolidge Avenue side of the Cemetery, Birch Gardens provides space for unique personal inscriptions on “headstones” directly in front of corresponding burial areas planted with trees, shrubs and pe- rennials. These plantings create “garden rooms” offering privacy and an abiding place for solace and reflection within the Cemetery. Even those looking in from Coolidge Avenue, driving or walking, will be able experience its beauty. Plantings for Birch Gardens were chosen for the times their flowers bloom, their leaf color in fall, and, for groundcovers, their appearance throughout the 20 | Sweet Auburn year. Plantings were also reviewed for their attractiveness as bird habitat, their status as native species, and whether they would expand the diversity of Mount Auburn’s plant collections. In all, about 50 new trees, hundreds of shrubs and thousands of perennials have been planted. All of these plants have been carefully selected and positioned such that the “face” of each shadblow (Amelanchier grandiflora), paper- bark maple (Acer griseum) and London planetree (Platanus x acerifolia), for example, welcomes visitors into each room. Whatever reason draws you to Mount Auburn we invite you, as a member of broader community, to enjoy these magnificent new gardens.