Friday, August 30, 2013

Adairsville, Georgia

Zoning Out ~ The Burial Zone:  The burial zone is the cemetery’s raison d’etre, but it quickly disappears from view.  What we know about the departed is what we observe in the proximate visible landscape.  Grass becomes the great equalizer, and memorials begin their work of differentiating one grave from another.  Eastview Cemetery.  [2013]


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cincinnati, Ohio

Zoning Out ~ The Burial Zone:  Once the grave is dug, a burial vault is inserted, and the casket lowered. Vaults are water-resistant and strong enough to prevent settling and compression. Once internment takes place, however, the burial zone becomes irrelevant to the life world. Its edges are solid system boundaries. It's a rare sight to see so many burial vaults above ground. St. Joseph's Cemetery. [2013]

Monday, August 26, 2013

New Orleans, Louisiana

Zoning Out ~ The Burial Zone:  A spatial analysis of cemeteries is facilitated by recognizing the existence of four zones: (1) burial zone, (2) grave marker, (3) contiguous zone, and (4) land use zone. The most important from a functional perspective is the burial zone. It is the space that envelops the mortal remains, whether corpse or ashes. Here, the earth is being prepared to take back its offspring.  End of story. Holt Cemetery. [2011]

Friday, August 23, 2013

Blanding, Utah

Miners to the End:  What did he love in life?  (1) his religion, (2) his marriage, (3) his children (4) his job in the mine, (5) his service station, and (6) Blanding.  What did she love in life?  (1) her religion, (2) her marriage, (3) her children, (4) her service to the community, (5) her piano, and (5) Blanding.  This couple's life was about more than the mine.  As for the evergreens and cones:  symbols of everlasting life and the promise of rebirth.   Blanding City Cemetery.  [2013]

Our Love of Blanding is Only Exceeded
By Our Love of Our Children

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Durango, Colorado

Miners to the End:  His name, dates, and mate are on the other side.  This side is devoted entirely to the mine.  It would be nice to think it was a silver mine since the cemetery is located in La Plata County.  La plata means silver in Spanish.  He died in 1977.  Greenmount Cemetery.  [2013]


Monday, August 19, 2013

Rainelle, West Virginia

Miners to the End:   It was the mine that supported the family.  Everyone should know that, and for a while they will.  But, these 'decorations' are ephemeral.  It's the bronze marker that's permanent.  Two types of space are available for commemoration of the dead:  (1) space on the marker, and (2) space contiguous to the grave.  On another front:  it's Mom 3, Dad 1.  Wallace Memorial Cemetery.  [2010]

Another Coal Miner in Heaven


Friday, August 16, 2013

Laramie, Wyoming

Green Hill Cemetery:  Not only do we have a map here, we have a conservation problem that is typical for granite headstones in dry regions.  Out-a-limb hypothesis:  feldspar in granite that has not been polished (lines, letters, images) is undergoing chemical weathering as rain water (slightly acidic) pools in cuts, becomes a clay-ey solution, and leaves a trail as it evaporates while weeping. Now, please, let's have an expert's assessment. . . . [2013]


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Laramie, Wyoming

Green Hill Cemetery:  The western cemetery "often began as an unkempt 'boot hill,' reflecting the violent early days of mining camps and cattle towns, and quickly grew into a 'fair mount,' [or 'green hill'!] the western version of a rural cemetery":  so sayeth Annette Stott in Pioneer Cemeteries.  No longer is Laramie's chief burial ground unkempt, and western themes have often been left behind in favor of contemporary icons (hearts) and secular language:  "End of construction.  Thank you for your patience."  Let's guess what he did for a living.  [2013]


Monday, August 12, 2013

Laramie, Wyoming

Green Hill Cemetery:   Annette Stott, in her book Pioneer Cemeteries, notes that "before the advent of art museums, public libraries, or civic sculpture, the western cemetery functioned as a repository of art and history."  That continues to be true.  The art on this headstone communicates a powerful sense of place that arises from the realms of history and economic geography.  [2013]


Friday, August 9, 2013

Wellington, Colorado

Canine Invigilators:  The inscription may say 'loving husband and father' but the symbolic landscape just screams:  'loving master.'  There are two silhouettes of the departed's best friend at this grave site:  one on his headstone and one at his feet.  That searching posture seems perfect to symbolize loss, don't you think?  [2013]

Loving Husband and Father


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Richmond, Virginia

Canine Invigilators:  The decedent died as a toddler in the 1860s, but we know little about her and even less about the iron dog that guards her grave.  We don't even know if the Newfoundland was the family pet.  Nevertheless, the corner plot on Cedar Avenue has become one of the most popular attractions in Richmond and a favorite of art students at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Hollywood Cemetery.  [2012]


Monday, August 5, 2013

Kingman, Arizona

Canine Invigilators:  Did we domesticate dogs or did dogs domesticate us?  Either way, the relationship makes a mockery of time because it goes back thousands of years.  It's one of the constants of human existence.  Another constant:  death itself.  This canine friend will invigilate his master's grave for eternity.  Mountain View Cemetery.  [2010]

We love you
But God loves
you more

Friday, August 2, 2013

Cedar City, Utah

The Perfect Family:  Family is at the heart of Latter-Day-Saint society, and its eternal significance is seen in the burial places of the West.  There seems to be a model Mormon headstone:  (1) names and dates, (2) note of marriage date and when sealed, (3) Mormon temple profile, (4) list of offspring.  The theme of tender familial love makes its appearance on both sides of this headstone.  [2009]

All because two people fell in love . . .