Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn The Art of Memory: Monuments Through Time - Page 23

New Fundraising Initiative for the Significant Monument Collection at Mount Auburn Cemetery By Jenny Gilbert, Senior Gifts Officer With a deep commitment to maintaining and preserving Mount Auburn’s monuments and structures, the Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery has launched a multi-year Significant Monument Collection fundraising initiative focused on 30 of the Cemetery’s memorials. While only a small part of the Cemetery’s cultural landscape, these rare and unique works of commemorative art have historical associations of national importance, represent the work of a significant artist or designer, or relate to notable individuals buried at the Cemetery. Although Mount Auburn has funds for general maintenance of its grounds and individual lots, resources to cover the considerable costs of critical conservation projects are in need. After years of exposure to the harsh New England climate, these monuments — representing nearly two centuries of vernacular funerary art in this country — are in urgent need of professional care and documentation before they are lost forever. The project includes: z Research and Digitization of the Cemetery’s records (monument plans and drawings; correspondence with architects, stone carvers, and monument designers; historic photographs; and work orders) will allow staff and scholars to have access to these primary source materials for the first time. Cataloging and Condition Assessments will include photographic documentation and a detailed physical description of each monument. Completed by a professional conservator, the condition assessments will recommend both short- and long-term care for the monuments and inform future preservation planning. These reports will create a critical baseline to proceed with conservation, and lay the groundwork for Cemetery staff to budget and raise funds for eventual treatment. Interpretative Materials based on the research conducted during the project will be made available to the public through online exhibitions and print publications. The Friends of Mount Auburn is particularly concerned with raising funds to conserve two of the Cemetery’s most threatened marble monuments: the Amos Binney Monument by Thomas Crawford, designated an “American Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (see page 4); and the Magoun monument, a beloved sculpture commemorating Medford ship- builder Thatcher Magoun. Mount Auburn’s Curator of Historical Collections Meg L. Winslow explains, “If left unattended, these two works of art will continue to erode dramatically, their relief carvings will deteriorate, and their inscriptions will become illegible. The Significant Monument Collection project will enable Mount Auburn to carry out the stewardship of these extraordinary monuments and will help ensure that the Cemetery remains a treasure among National Historic Sites and a model of preservation in this country.” For more information on how you can support this project, contact Jane Carroll, Vice President of Development at 617-607-1919 or [email protected] Fall 2013 | 21