Mention that you enjoy spending time walking through cemeteries to others, and you are likely to evoke some interesting reactions. Tell them you enjoy taking photographs in cemeteries and you will get even stranger responses. The most usual is “Huh?” combined with a puzzled look. The next is the classic “Cemeteries?” followed by some nervous laughter. And of course, there is the controlled “Really? How… huh… interesting.” These are probably the more charitable responses.
Cemeteries conjure up all types of thoughts, ranging from the traditional late-night television macabre fare to the not-so-subtle reminder of our mortality. Rarely are burial grounds depicted as anything other than eerie, spooky, or mysterious — think Stephen King’s Pet Cemetery. In a culture obsessed with youth and everything new, few people care to contemplate the notion that they will become the equivalent of last year’s technology and subject to the same fate. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that many seek to avoid the subject of death altogether. Thus, it is not surprising that terms such as beauty, art, and serenity might be the last ones people would use to describe their thoughts and feelings about graveyards.
Take Another Look
For those willing to challenge their stereotypes, however, they may find a world of beauty awaits them in the burial grounds of their cities and towns: artistic statues rivaling those in museums, elaborate stained glass from Tiffany, and mausoleums full of ornate details and quality craftsmanship.
Even the more common cemetery artifacts can contain heart-rendering epitaphs, interesting carvings and lettering, and stone and bronze weathered by time and the elements.
Connections To The Past
Cemeteries can provide interesting insights into the lives of those that came before us. Even a casual walk in an older graveyard can reveal much about differences in life expectancy over time. It is not unusual to glance at the dates on a few gravestones, and instantly get a glimpse into a tragic family situation, perhaps one involving the death of a mother and one or more children at childbirth, a reminder of how much life has changed over the past five-to-ten decades.
Cemeteries thus provide a symbolic bridge between the past, the present, and our ultimate fate – whatever we imagine it to be.
Cemetery Art – Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond
We started Cemetery Art to share photos, stories, and insights with those having similar interests, and encourage others to develop an appreciation for these often overlooked sources of beauty, history, and culture. We hope our site will inspire you to explore cemeteries in your hometown area, and visit others during your travels. For those seeking to improve their photography skills, we also plan to offer guidance for taking and processing pictures.
Thank you for visiting our site. If you enjoy reading our posts, please share our website address with others. Be sure to visit each week, as we will be updating it with articles and photographs on a regular basis.
Cemetery Art earns commissions for purchases made through links in this post, which are used to offset the costs of building and maintaining this site.