American Art History and Gravestone Carving - Identification of Era of Creation and Social Status of the Deceased by Design of Images, Epitaphs, Portraying on the Gravestone – PowerPoint Presentation Example

CEMETERIES AND GRAVESTONE CARVING Cemeteries and Gravestone Carving The gravestone carving on Slide 1752), is similar to the gravestone carvings found in the cemetery in Plymouth, Massachusetts. This gravestone (on Slide #1, 1752) has a strange mouth-less, blank-eyed face. It has a light-bulb-shaped head with an inverted T-shaped mouth. This design reflects the effect of traditional culture and isolation that the community, which used it, faced. Studying this gravestone helps one get an understanding of the position of the person it belongs to in their community. We can identify the deceased gender, age and race. The design for the gravestone on Slide #1, 1752, was normally used, in Massachusetts, to mark the graves for children (Deetz, 1996). This does not necessarily mean that the person buried in that grave, but it may mean that whoever chose the design may have considered or thought of that person as a child. To this day, this design continues to be used in some parts of Massachusetts. The outline of this gravestone is smooth, round-shouldered outline, which is in great contrast to modern gravestones, which have square shoulders. This gravestone indicates that the design was of the 1750-1789 era (Deetz, 1996).
The gravestone on Slide #4, 1768, indicates a design of the 1760-1809 eras. The epitaph, a cherub carved in stone stresses that buried is expected to resurrect, and later heavenly reward (Deetz, 1996). Additionally, it symbolizes the social status of the one buried beneath, often, marking a resting place for individuals of high-status in the society (Edwin S. Dethlefsen & Jensen, 1977). This gravestone carving utilized one of the earliest carving design, the winged death-head with a grinning visage and blank eyes. The death’s-head graphic also served as a reminder of death and a possibility of later resurrection. This gives an idea of the gravestone’s origin, which in this case is Connecticut. The epitaph is in contrast to the current engravings on gravestones, it states, “Here lies…,” which has since been replaced by “Sacred to the…, or In Memory…” (Deetz, 1996). The outline of this gravestone is smooth, round-shouldered outline, which is in great contrast to modern gravestones, which have square shoulders.
The gravestone carving depicted in Slide #5, 1783, represents an advanced design of the winged death-head with a grinning visage and blank eyes from Connecticut. It has a cherub carved in marble, which is symbolic of the deceased social status. The one buried beneath is of high-status in his/her community (Edwin S. Dethlefsen & Jensen, 1977). The epitaph on the gravestone emphasizes that only some part of the deceased remain that the immortal portion has gone to its eternal reward. Additionally, it adds credence to the belief that change occurs over time (Edwin S. Dethlefsen & Jensen, 1977). The outline of this gravestone is smooth, round-shouldered outline, which is in great contrast to modern gravestones, which have square shoulders. The epitaph is in contrast to the current engravings on gravestones, it states, “Here lies…,” which has since been replaced by “Sacred to the…, or In Memory…” (Deetz, 1996).
References
Deetz, J. (1996). In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life (pp. 89–125). Anchor.
Edwin S. Dethlefsen, & Jensen, K. (1977). Social Commentary from the Cemetery: From Colonial Times to the Present, Gravestones Have Reflected American Attitudes Toward Death, Family and Society. New York.
(Deetz, 1996; Edwin S. Dethlefsen & Jensen, 1977)