28 September 2013
Green-Wood Cemetery, according to its website, was founded in 1838 as “one of America’s firs rural cemeteries.” It consists of 478 acres with 560,000 ‘permanent residents.’
The main entrance on 25th Street and 5th Avenue is a beautiful architectural feature more reminiscent of a gothic church then a cemetery gate. Driving up to the gate I was greeted by a friendly guard who provided a map of the grounds. Until that moment I didn’t truly appreciate the enormity of 478 acres. The map with all of its avenues and paths was overwhelming. No matter though – I was up for the challenge.
Green-Wood echoes a time when the general public wasn’t afraid or ‘weirded out’ to walk through a cemetery and enjoy the art and landscape. Twenty-two years after its creation, Green-Wood was attracting 500,000 visitors a year – which according to my trusty map rivaled “Niagra Falls as the country’s greatest tourist attraction.” I wish more people today walked through these historic cemeteries and appreciated them as artistic and historical gems – all the while respecting and honoring those buried within them.
There were several angels that caught my attention, but one really grabbed me. Endless shooting from every angle possible commenced. It is an exquisite bronze sculpture referred to as the ‘Resurrection Angel.’ The inscription on its base reads: Ego Sum Resurrectio et Vite (translated to: I am the resurrection and the life). The artist was an Italian, Adolfo Apolloni (1855-1923), a true master of his craft.
It was time to head home after a couple hours of driving around. I knew I couldn’t cover the entire cemetery in just one day, so I’ll definitely be back. I’ve already updated the Stone Angels Gallery with all the new finds, so check them out when you have a chance.