Sunday, October 18, 2009

Angels and Accordions at Green-Wood Cemetery

Please click to enlarge to see details

The angels in the mosaic above are just a few of the many beautiful statues found in Green-Wood Cemetery, located at 500 25th Street in Brooklyn, New York. Founded in 1838, as one of America's first rural cemeteries, Green-Wood Cemetery soon developed an international reputation for its magnificent beauty and became a fashionable place to be buried. Its 478 acres of hills, valleys, glacial ponds and paths contain the largest outdoor collection of 19th and 20th century statuary and mausoleums. Many famous Americans are buried here, and among its 500,00 permanent residents are Louis Comfort Tiffany, Boss Tweed, Leonard Bernstein, Henry Ward Beecher, and Horace Greeley. In 2006 Green-Wood was designated a National Historic Landmark.

This is one of my favorite residents, the Indian Princess "Do Hum Me" (1824–1843) She tragically died only five weeks after her marriage. If you click on and enlarge the mosaic above you can read the inscriptions on her grave stone and see the bas relief plaque depiction of her grieving husband by artist Robert Launitz.

My husband and I have been volunteers at Green-Wood Cemetery for many years assisting with the Civil War Veteran Project, in which approximately 3,300 Civil War veterans buried in Green-Wood have been identified. We are still in the process of finding more veterans in the cemetery records and on the grounds. The above stones are new ones ordered from the Veteran's Administration to replace the worn ones in the background of the two Prentiss brothers. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, one brother fought for the north, and one for the south, and both were mortally wounded in the 1865 siege of Petersburg, Virginia. They reconciled on the battle field in an emotional scene, and died within months of each other. A third brother who lived in Brooklyn had them buried side by side at Green-Wood.
Please click on to enlarge to see details


Last weekend, as part of the "Open House New York" event, Green-Wood Cemetery hosted "Angels and Accordions," a beautiful musical and dance performance choreographed by Martha Bowers of Dance Theatre Etcetera, features a cast of 30 dancers, original music by Guy Klucevsek and Bob Goldberg, played live by a band of accordionists, and included a visual installation inside the Catacombs designed by photographer Alexander Heilner. It was truly a beautiful performance as the dancers portrayed both mouners and angels and then went on to pose in the cemetery as watchful living angels.

I am linking this postt to Mary of The Little Red House Mosaic Monday blog event. Please visit Mary's blog today to see links to other blogs participating today with their beautiful and interesting mosaics.


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50 comments:

Dishesdone said...

You always have the coolest posts! Enjoy them very much! Excellent!

Marsha's Mpressions said...

WOW! I'm so impressed with your angels in the cemetery. What an unusual and interesting mosaic!!

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Old cemeteries hold so much interesting history and you have depicted this one beautifully. The angel mosaic is gorgeous and each one is beautiful. This is a wonderful post that I have enjoyed very much.

Willow said...

Such an interesting and unusual post. I always learn so much about Brooklyn from you!

Lenore said...

This is absolutely fabulous.....I, too am very interested in ancestry and of course that takes one to old cemeteries.
Love the "Angels and Accordions" event...terrific.
Thanks for sharing this with the rest of us!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

How interesting this is, Pat. I've never heard of anything quite like this, and it is so great that they didn't involve anything so mundane as ghosts. I much prefer angels! And that cemetery looks beautiful. I love old cemeteries.

I did a post about my cousin's former house in the Vineyard. Wasn't it you who asked me some time back if my pictures were of the lighthouse there? It was, and now I posted about his mariner's cottage remodeling. It's very simply furnished, and I like that because it makes the architecture stand out more. I love MV!!!

XO,

Sheila :-)

RNSANE said...

This was a wonderful post. Beautiful angels. I have always enjoyed visiting cemeteries, especially the few years I lived in the Lexington - Concord area of MA. The graveyards were so interesting and I spent many a day, wandering about, reading all the headstones and wondering what the lives of those resting there had been like.

Blondie's Journal said...

Pat~~

Such an intersting post! Of course my heart went out to the poor Indian Princess, but I am also in awe that you and your husband volunteer your time for such a worthy cause. Kudos to both of you. And your mosaic is beautiful!

Thank you for coming by...your comments were so nice!!

xoxo
Jane

Kathy said...

I really enjoyed your post, Pat. I found all of the pictures and information so interesting. The angels are beautiful. Have a perfect new week...Kathy

Ebie said...

This is a fine collection of angels! Very unique post! I used to play the accordion way back then, but am not good at it anymore.

You post below on the pink brownstone, looks like its going to be sold soon!

I really enjoyed your posts about NY.

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

This is a gorgeous post.

I especially love the Angels.

Going back to study them some more!

If you have a moment — I would love you to stop by and say hi!

TTFN~~ Claudia ♥ ♥

Caroline said...

Wow...what history! Thank you for sharing!

Jackie said...

What a great blog! Cemeteries can be quiet relaxing places and the beauty of all the angels are lovely. I love the idea of the "live" angels and the open day, I have never heard of anything like that before.

It is great that you and your hubby are volunteers.

We have Brookwood Cemetery near us
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brookwood_Cemetery where there are the graves of 468 American military dead and a further 563 with no known grave are commemorated.

Jackie in UK

M.Kate said...

Love your collage Pat, christian cemetery are always so peaceful place...unlike the Chinese ones..very spooky :( Happy week Pat, much love/M

M.Kate said...

oh..before I forget...I LOVE, LOVE and LOVE your 'share some love, leave a comment' badge...so cool :)

Joanne Kennedy said...

You know I adore old cemeteries. Soooooo guess where I'll be going on my next trip back to visit NY.

Hugs,
Joanne

GMG said...

Hi Pat, here I am after another absence, much longer than I wished...
This is an interesting post and a wonderful project on which you're involved!! Great collages also!!

Blogtrotter is now at an old spa in Turkey. Enjoy and have a great week!

Diann @ the Thrifty Groove said...

awesome mosaics!

¡ L I Z ! said...

Lovely collection of angels!!

Gracie said...

I've always liked the angels or mourning ladies statues they put in cemeteries, it's strange I know, but that's it. That's why I love so much the Pere Lachaise in Paris, and I collect pics from the net from places around the world...

Bellini Valli said...

What beautiful tributes from the living. It would be an inspiring journey to wander through this cemetery.

Lorrie said...

A fascinating post Pat. The statuary in the Green-Wood Cemetary is beautiful--it speaks eloquently of a bygone era. How neat that you and your husband volunteer there. I wonder how many brothers at that time were divided by war? So glad those two reconciled at the end. Angels and Accordians sounds (and looks) very interesting.

You never run out of things to do and see in the NYC area do you?

Sea Witch said...

I love this post. Cemeteries have always called me,there is such peace and history found there. Sea Witch

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a beautiful and informative post and what a lovely cemetery and event!

Tracy said...

Oooohhh...I'm so enjoying that angels mosaic, Pat! But actually all the photos are fantastic--love the movement of all the people...can almost hear the music! Happy week, my friend ((HUGS))

Jenny said...

Adore, adore old cemeteries. Did you go to this event? Was it cold outside? The leaves are still so green! The living angels on the tombstones was just well...welll....it made me speechless....

Mary said...

Oh Pat, this is marvelous! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful images and information at MM. :)

Claudia said...

Angels in cemeteries always move me. What a fascinating project you are doing and how wonderful to be part of something that helps identify our veterans - from all times.

pammiejo said...

As always, I love your "tours"! I like the statuary in cemeteries and the inscriptions - a little glimpse of history in each one!. PAM

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

What an amazing post, Pat!! Beautiful!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Very touching story about the brothers. That is such a great thing for you and hubby to do! It's nice to know people are still "taking care" of our veterans after all these years.

Kathleen said...

Hi Pat,
Another very interesting post! Kudos on your volunteer work.
There are some very old cemetaries here in Southampton that are interesting.
I remember when I was growing up in Huntington visiting the old rural cemeteries to read the headstones.
The historical society here sponsors grave stone rubbing class trips.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I love old cemeteries too. How cool that you and your husband volunteer. With all those angel statues, you could be in Italy.

Riet said...

Oh how beautiful. What a beautiful mosaic and the angels and dancers are gorgeous. Have a nice day

Marg said...

That would of been the most interesting event. I love accordion music and I could just envision that musical in an open garden setting.

Sharon said...

What a wonderful mosaic and history. I have really enjoyed this post. Thank you for all your efforts. Sharon

storyteller said...

I love your mosaics! The angels are especially kewl and the photo of the people with umbrellas caught my eye especially. Wonderful variety. Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely week.
Hugs and blessings,

Karen said...

So many angels - beautiful mosaic.
I love walking around cemeteries especially old ones.
Great post as always!!

Jeanne said...

ove all those angels and that event! Old cemetaries are wonderful to wander around.

Brenda @Cozy Little House said...

What interesting mosaics! You're so good with historical stuff.
Brenda

steviewren said...

So interesting and so sad about the Prentiss brothers. I love photos of cemetery angels. I would loved to have seen that dance.

jeanne said...

Hello Pat, the Green-Wood cemetery has quite a past. I enjoyed enlarging the photos, especially the beautiful statuary. How beautiful they all are. The famous people who are buried there is impressive. The story of the Indian princess and the many Civil War veterans make for an interesting story. I would like to visit there.

The pink brownstone is kind of shocking. I don't remember when you posted it earlier. The inside is gorgeous though. I hope the couple sell and are happy in a smaller place. We moved to a much smaller home and we love it. Less square feet by a thousand, but our rooms are all large. Perfect for when our large family gathers together.

Have a great evening.

Hugs, Jeanne

Juliana said...

Absolutely enjoyed the pictures...the angels at the cemetery...so neat!

Fifi Flowers said...

LOVE those Angel statues!

Junie Moon said...

I've read about this cemetary before and am always fascinated to discover there's more to learn. Such places are beautiful and intriguing. While I try always to respectful and remember that the residents were once living beings, it is lovely to see the various headstones and markers.

Paz said...

I love all the statues.

Paz

Rue said...

Hi Pat :)

That cemetery is so beautiful. What an interesting musical!

hugs,
rue

Melissa Miller said...

~WOW! Gorgeous angels and maosaic Pat! Thank you for the interesting post.

Many Blessings, ~Melissa :)

Oliag said...

This is one place in Brooklyn that I did get a chance to visit while my daughter was living there...she lived very close to the cemetary and we took a nice long walk through it one day...right now I don't know why I didn't have my camera with me! Great angel pictures! I love the mosaic!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Oh, I love the angel photo montage!! Perfect.