Sunday, September 2, 2007

take it to the grave

I am Providence
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
I have been fascinated with the history and artwork of cemeteries for a long time. Years ago, on many of our walks, my mother and I would take the time to check out small cemeteries in and around my hometown. We would seek out the oldest section and look for headstones that reflect who the "first residents" were. We would feel sadness and anger when viewing stones that were desecrated by vandals. Sadness would fill us as we gazed on the headstones that only had the word "baby" etched on them. No name, no identity, just baby. We would take the time to ponder about who these people were, our imaginations recreating the families in each plot. Never morbid or scary, cemeteries often get a bad rap but I enjoy them.

This fascination grew to the hobby of photographing cemetery art. This started years ago, pre-digital cameras so I have a fair collection of prints in storage at my parents' house. Those include Sleep Hollow and other cemeteries in New York.

In line with the interest in cemeteries, after moving to Rhode Island we discovered that H.P. Lovecraft lived and died in Providence. This morning, Greg and I finally took some time to check out his resting place in the Swan Point Cemetery. What a beautiful place! The many old trees add to the serenity and quiet of this East Side landmark. And talk about a rich history! Not only are H.P. Lovecraft and his parents laid to rest here, but many names that are now familiar to us from area street names and local landmarks were visible throughout. It is also interesting to see the time and artistic craftsmanship that went into headstones and tombs of the 1800's and early 1900's. This seems to be a lost art in the more modern grave markers. I am sure there are exceptions to this but that is generally what I have observed. Please enjoy the photos I put up on flickr. Hopefully you will see the beauty that I see.

1 comment:

Grim Blogger said...

Sounds gorgeous! I'm a large admirer of the Old Gent (Lovecraft) and I hope to make it to Providence one day to see Swan Point. I'm sure the cemetary is full of historical Providence figures and rich history, just like you noted.