This monument was completely in the dark until I illuminated it with flash. Doing so allowed the texture and inscriptions to reveal themselves. I must thank my friend Morrie who helped keep my camera dry under an umbrella while I moved around the structure with the flash.
Often, monuments and mausolea are designed by the same architect who designed other residences for the family. The Mary Baker Eddy monument does not follow that mold, instead, it was the result of a design competition. Egerton Swarthout, a New York architect, won the competition in 1914, with a tholos form design of a circular colonnade consisting of 8 columns each 15 feet in height. Swarthout omitted a roof because he felt there should be “nothing between the grave and sky but flowers”.
Originally, the architect specified the monument be constructed of Colorado or Vermont white marble. As an acknowledgement to the harsh New England winter, Bethel, Vermont, white granite was substituted because it withstands the elements significantly better than marble.
The Mary Baker Eddy monument has been acknowledged as one of the finest examples of the granite carver’s craft. Among the details incorporated into the design are the wild rose, which was Mrs. Eddy’s favorite flower, the morning glory, which opens to the light and closes to the darkness, the lamp of wisdom and a sheaf of wheat.
Nestled at the base of a giant maple tree are the graves of this husband and wife. Her stone reads-“her example is our inheritance” and his reads, “the master called and found him”. I wonder if the tree was planted since they were buried or just happened to grow from a seed that landed there?
This corner in mount auburn cemetery was covered in freshly fallen leaves,and the fence surrounding this plot featured ornate axes which stopped me in my tracks as I came upon it. Slightly foggy conditions and a fresh rain had everything saturated and glistening for a picture perfect moment. The cemetery uses street signs that have an appeal to them which adds to the unique feel you get here.
This sphinx is a bit out-of-place in a cemetery but it still is quite impressive and I shot this image in infrared. This is Martin Milmore’s Sphinx commissioned by Jacob Bigelow in commemoration of the preservation of the Union and the end of slavery. It sits facing the Bigelow chapel in mount auburn cemetery and was carved at this site from a single block of granite from Maine, it was completed in July 1872.
The inscription on the monument:
American Union preserved
African slavery destroyed
by the uprising of a great people
by the blood of fallen heroes
Mount Auburn cemetery is as much a cemetery as it is a garden and park and this view down one of the avenues reflects its beauty. Graceful old trees and plantings are done in a way that inspire the visitor to linger and enjoy the scenery. Mount Auburn is considered the pioneer in garden cemeteries and inspirational views are around every corner. Fall color begins to emerge in this image captured under my umbrella in a rainy moment.
I just returned from a four-day trip to shoot fall foliage in new england and this is the first image I am sharing. The foliage was a disaster but my friend Morrie and I took a day to shoot in Mount Auburn cemetery in Massachusetts. The place did not disappoint and this image features the Bigelow Chapel,which is a centerpiece of the cemetery.Originally built in 1846 in a Gothic Revival style, Bigelow Chapel is a central structure illustrating the Mount Auburn Cemetery’s importance of linking a network of building landmarks to the landscape. The Chapel, constructed of Quincy granite, has served as a non sectarian chapel for funeral and memorial services. The building has had a full history of renovations, beginning with a complete dismantling and rebuilding just nine years following construction due to structural problems, a complete interior remodeling in 1923, and the addition of a crematory annex in 1970. The only regret I had was not being able to see the place lit inside to show off the stained glass. I light painted the scene with about ten pops of the flash. This cemetery is very large and well maintained,and while we were there a maintenance crew carefully raked the stone walkways free of debris,which surely must be done everyday in the fall. We were also told not to park on the grass at the road edge because they are very particular about keeping things perfect.