This week, I decided to look through my growing collection of photos and choose some that have caught my imagination but that I have not shared with you yet. Some I know about and others remain a total mystery.
Near the entrance of Westview is a large panoramic sculpture of the Last Supper. It’s quite elaborate and detailed. German-born Fritz Paul Zimmer made Atlanta his home. He operated his own art school and was a professor at Oglethorpe University.
I don’t know anything about Walter Andrews (besides the fact he was a big wig in the Elks Lodge). But I really like the art deco style of his monument, from the font of the words to the clean lines. It’s something I don’t see often.
I don’t remember whose monument this anchor was on. But I was clearly taken with the detail on it. The authentic look of the rope and the iron makes it look almost real.
The day I took this picture the sky was a vivid white. From the angle I took it, the eyes look pensive and full of thought. It really stands out for me.
I could share a hundred photos from Oakland Cemetery, the grand dame of cemeteries in Atlanta, and still not get to them all. There are just too many interesting images to limit to a blog post.
When I took a tour of Oakland last spring, the guide told us that during the awful tornado of 2008, the monument pictured below sustained damage. The tall spire literally crashed to the ground. But with loving care, it was restored. The angel leaning on his trumpet is beautifully detailed.
Last spring, I spent several days photographing Sugar Hill Baptist Church Cemetery up in northern Gwinnett County. This grave is a modern one and I’ve seen a few other examples of it but it still grabs at my heart when I see it.
Joseph “Jody” Paul Domingue wasn’t even 20 when he died. He was on a construction site digging a deep trench that wasn’t properly braced. It collapsed on him and he was killed. The angel crying over his grave seems very fitting for this young man’s short life.
Over the summer, I spent a few days photographing Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Tucker (near my home). While nosing around in the wooded edge of the property, I found this little plaque.
I don’t find pet graves in human cemeteries very often. There are a few at Oakland. I think Cooter was probably buried in secret without anyone seeking permission. But even if they had, I don’t think anyone would have said no. Having lived a long life, Cooter was clearly loved.
I’ve seen hundreds of monuments for little children who have died far too young. But the one of six-year-old Mary Ruth Britt sticks with me. The downcast face of the angel, her folded hands. It’s one of the most interesting in the cemetery.
The symbol of the dove is quite common in grave symbolism. But I still find the differing styles very interesting. This one is at Phillips Cemetery in rural Fayette County.
Lucy Pharr is buried at Decatur Cemetery. Her grave has no dates on it. But the carving of a delicate dove clutching an olive branch in its beak speaks volumes.
I see monuments with the image of clasped hands on them a lot. But this one from a church cemetery in North Georgia is especially well done. The detail on the lady’s dress cuff and the gentleman’s sleeve is unique.
I love visiting cemeteries in other states because I get to observe monument styles and cultural differences that I don’t find in Georgia. This was evident at St. Mary’s Mount Cemetery in Kansas City, Mo. A Catholic cemetery dominated by Italian and Irish families, there’s a lot to look at.
There were a few examples of this temple-shadow box type of headstone at St. Mary’s. I don’t know what the cultural significance of it is. I don’t know if it’s Italian or of Hispanic origin. But it got my attention.
St. Mary’s also has many Italian graves that feature portraits of the deceased. Some of the faces are dour and serious. Others are more lighthearted. But it’s a wonderful way to get a better sense of who the person was. Here are two of an Italian couple.
Charleston, frankly, blew me away. There’s enough for a cemetery hopper like me to absorb to last for years. I could visit often and never see it all. Still, there are some other images I want to share. Magnolia Cemetery is especially interesting.
As you can see, the intricate wrought iron fencing around this plot is falling to pieces. The elements and lack of care are part of it. Magnolia is a large, old cemetery with not many people to care for it. Or money to restore parts of it.
The detail that was put into this mental work was astounding. It’s sad to know that it’s slowly falling into disrepair, never to be restored.
At Decatur Cemetery here in Atlanta, they did something about a much loved grave whose surrounding iron fence was falling apart. With support from the Friends of Decatur Cemetery, a local blacksmith restored the beautiful iron work.
I could keep on sharing photos for hours but I’ll end here. I hope you’ve enjoyed this pictorial journey of different monuments, unique styles.
I’ll do it again (with new photos) another time.