Hope Cemetery Granite Grave Art
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Written by The Grave Site

Easychair shaped tombstone (c) SeacoastNH.com
Barre, Vermont

Since these pictures first appeared on SeacoastNH.com they have appeared in publications across the globe. The appeal of these carved tombs is universal. We salute the largely Italian-American master carvers who have transformed this cemetery into a New England art gallery.




Granite Tombstone Sculptures in Vermont
Hope Cemetery

Coming from the Granite State , we had heard rumors of the famous Italian monument carvers from Barre, VT. But we were unprepared for the astonishing tombstones of Hope Cemetery. Opened in 1896, this graveyard is an art gallery, celebrating life in the midst of death with some of the most compelling, beautiful and quirky carved tombs in the nation.

Hope Cemetery, Barre, VT/ SeacoastNH.comWe arrived on an appropriately gray and threatening day in July and toured, first by car and then on foot, moving from stone to stone -- touching and marveling. While the average New England tombstone evokes a dull finality, these sculptures speak volumes about, both the deceased and the carver.

One "final resting place" is a stuffed armchair. In another, a couple lies in their granite double bed, together as in life, pajamas on. In Hope Cemetery, the angels sometimes look bored with Eternity, while massive gravestones rise like Greek temples nearby.

No subject is too offbeat, personal or creative for the carvers of Barre, "The Granite Capital of the World" -- from soccer balls, airplanes, cars and trucks. One carver evokes an image of his wife in the smoke of his cigar. In another reminiscent of Michelangelo's "Pieta" a woman clasps a turn-of-the-century workman. We from NH salute the stone carvers of Vermont who refuse to give death the final word. Bravo! – J. Dennis Robinson

All photos (c) SeacoastNH.com. All rights reserved.

Pieta-like tombstone sculpture in Barre, Vermont / SeacoastNH.com

Hope Cemetery / SeacoastNH.com

Matching heart valentine graves in Vermont/ SeacoastNH.com

Biplane shaped tomb stone / SeacoastNH.com

Continue with HOPE CEMETERY, Barre, Vermont 

Barre, Vermont Granite Tomb Sculpture (continued)

Couple in bed for all eternity, final resting place in Barre , VT/ J. Dennis Robinson photo

Detailed grave carcing in Hope Cemetery / SeacoastNH.com

Soccer ball grave sculpture, Barre, VT. SeacoastNH.com

Statue of man tombstone in Vermont / SeacoastNH.com

Truckers tomb in Hope Cemetery. Vermont / SeacoastNH.com

Hope Cemetery, Barre, VT / SeacpastNH.com

Square balancing granite tomb in Barre/ J. Dennis Robinson photo

Continue with HOPE CEMETERY, Barre, Vermont 

Barre, Vermont Granite Tomb Sculpture (continued)

Contemplating angel in Barre Vermont / SeacoastNH.com

Letter A Granite tomb in Hope Cemetery/ SeacoastNH.com

Armchair gravestone in Barre Cemetery/ J. Dennis Robinson

Racing car tombstone in Hope Cemetery, Barre, VT / J. Dennis Robinson photo

Snoking man grave carving in Hope Cemetery, Barre, VT / SeacoastNH.com

All photos (c) SeacoastNH.com. All rights reserved.