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Beyond grief : sculpture and wonder in the Gilded Age cemetery

Author: Cynthia J Mills
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2014.
Series: Smithsonian contribution to knowledge.
Edition/Format:   Print book : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Beyond Grief explores high-style funerary sculptures and their functions during the turn of the twentieth century. ... Art historian Cynthia Mills traces the stories of four families who memorialized their losses through sculpture. Henry Brooks Adams commissioned perhaps the most famous American cemetery monument of all, the Adams Memorial in Washington, D.C. The bronze figure was designed by Augustus
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Details

Material Type: Government publication, National government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Cynthia J Mills
ISBN: 9781935623373 1935623370 9781935623793 1935623796
OCLC Number: 870285347
Description: 238 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm.
Contents: Lost Souls. Adams's Quest for Consolation --
The Milmores and the Sphinx --
Angels of Grief across the Sea --
The Contexts of Mourning. Emotional Regulation --
Varieties of Religious Consolation --
Landscapes of Sensation --
The Artist and the Cemetery. Therapeutic Beauty --
Making the Adams Memorial --
Death and the Sculptor --
Duveneck's Lady --
The Cemetery in the Museum --
Grief and Commerce. Public Sorrow --
Cemetery Pirates --
Afterlives.
Series Title: Smithsonian contribution to knowledge.
Responsibility: Cynthia Mills.

Abstract:

"Beyond Grief explores high-style funerary sculptures and their functions during the turn of the twentieth century. ... Art historian Cynthia Mills traces the stories of four families who memorialized their losses through sculpture. Henry Brooks Adams commissioned perhaps the most famous American cemetery monument of all, the Adams Memorial in Washington, D.C. The bronze figure was designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who became the nation's foremost sculptor. Another innovative bronze monument featured the Milmore brothers, who had worked together as sculptors in the Boston area. Artist Frank Duveneck composed a recumbent portrait of his wife following her early death in Paris; in Rome, the aging William Wetmore Story made an angel of grief his last work as a symbol of his sheer desolation after his wife's death. ... Beyond Grief traces the monuments' creation, influence, and reception in the hope that they will help us to understand the larger story: how survivors used cemetery memorials as a vehicle to mourn and remember, and how their meaning changed over time."

"This book attempts to set out at least part of the story of how high-style funerary sculpture functioned at the turn of the twentieth century and in the decades immediately after, a subject little investigated to date by scholars. These monuments have not been considered in terms of their wider context and shifting use as objects of consolation, power, and multisensory mystery and wonder. Rather, they have mostly been considered as oddities, a part of an individual artist's oeuvre, a detail of a patron's biography, or as local civic cemetery history. Why did new forms--many of them now produced in bronze rather than stone and placed in architectural settings--arise just at this time, and how did they mesh or clash with the sensibilities of their era? Why was there a gap between the intention of these elite patrons and artists, whose lives were often intertwined in a closed circle, and the way some public audiences received them through the filter of the mass media?"--

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