Cemeteries and Gravestones Essay

568 WordsAug 7, 20123 Pages
Cemeteries and Gravestones Greg Schmitt Art History In the young republic of the United States, the "rural" cemetery movement was inspired by romantic perceptions of nature, art, national identity, and the melancholy theme of death ("National register publications," 2010). Cemeteries became a huge part of our culture with expressing people religious point of view. The expression came out through gravestone carvings. The mortuary art of colonial Anglo-America is unique in providing us with a tightly controlled body of material culture, and to relate this change to changes in the society that produced it (Deetz, 2010). Cemeteries contained family history, sculptures, artistic composition and its craftsmanship, and attitudes towards death. Many cemeteries were located on the outskirts of town on a hillside overlooking the town. The cemeteries are in close proximity to churches. Before the Civil War cemeteries plots were sold to individuals and were kept up by the individual plot owner. After the Civil War in Cincinnati, Ohio, Spring Grove Cemetery, Superintendent Adolph Strauch introduced the lawn plan system, which means the cemetery would be kept up by the cemetery ("National register publications," 2010). The early American cemeteries landscaping and gardening derive from our European settlers. When understanding where gravestones art, you need to understand the designs carved on the stone in terms of symbolism and determining their makers (Deetz, 2010). Even though gravestones did not show the engravers signature, many gravestones were distributed over a very small geographic area; therefore the engraver can be identified (Deetz, 2010). Gravestones represented the spiritual culture it’s around. The gravestone evolved of the years. Many gravestones epitaphs would memorialize the living personality rather than mark the death of the individual. The

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