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Archive for December 10th, 2011

We attribute a lot of symbolism to funerary art: we assume that most art means something. Fingers point heavenward to show the soul ascending, willow trees evoke mourning, and an hourglass reminds us that time passes rapidly. But some other funerary art seems to serve no symbolic purpose beyond allowing the stonecutter to say “hey, look what I can do! I can take this hard stone and make it look like soft fabric.” I can’t think of a better example of this than the use of stone pillows and tassels top of monuments.

In Cleveland’s Woodland Cemetery, the Benedict family monument features a large open book sitting on a pillow of stone with giant stone tassels on its corners.

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This is a smaller version of the tasseled border from Lake View Cemetery.

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Finally, we have the couch inside the Blocher monument at Forest Lawn Cemetery, with its soft lines and tassels.

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