Disposable Camera Tour
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Coming from the Granite
we had heard rumors
of the famous 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, and quirky,
art cemetery stonests in the nation.
We 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 marvelling. While the average New
England tombstone evokes a dull finality, these sculptures speak volumes about,
both the deceased and the carver.
One "final resting
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
, 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!
TOUR OF HOPE CEMETERY, Barre, VT
Disposable images and text by J. Dennis Robinson
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