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Carved in Stone

The Artistry of Early New England Gravestones

Thomas E. Gilson

Publication Year: 2012

Gravestones are colonial America's earliest sculpture and they provide a unique physical link to the European people who settled here. Carved in Stone book is an elegant collection of over 80 fine duotone photographs, each a personal meditation on an old stone carving, and on New England's past, where these stones tell stories about death at sea, epidemics such as small pox, the loss of children, and a grim view of the afterlife. The essay is a graceful narrative that explores a long personal involvement with the stones and their placement in New England landscape, and attempts to trace the curious and imperfectly documented story of carvers. Brief quotes from early New England writers accompany the images, and captions provide basic information about each stone. These meditative portraits present an intimate view of figures from New England graveyards and will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in early Americana and fine art photography.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press


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p. vii

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pp. ix-x

The early New England settlers found themselves in a harsh, unfamiliar environment, looking for a new beginning. What they brought with them were their skills, ingenuity, and, more than anything else, their perseverance and their religious faith. One of their legacies, one that still resonates in our culture, is revealed on the stones in early New England graveyards...

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p. xi

For this book I am indebted to a number of people for their help and support. My heartfelt thanks and appreciation, in particular, to: Bob McCann for his careful and insightful eye and knowledge of all things photographic; Christopher Collins for his literary stylistic advice; Joan Schweighardt for her extraordinary attention to all details leading up to publication; Renee Rockoff for the preliminary book design; Suzanna Tamminen for her guidance; and to the many friends and family members for their generosity and encouragement, among them Judy and Noel Hanf..

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Stone Faces

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pp. 1-20

In 1990 I lived in York, England. My apartment was about a mile north of the old city wall, and most mornings I would walk down Bootham, through the old gate called Bootham Bar, and explore the city. One drizzling morning, near...

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pp. 21-116

First, be entreated to consider attentively how great and awful a thing eternity is. Although you cannot comprehend it the more by considering, yet you may be made more sensible that it is not a...

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pp. 117-120


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pp. 121-122


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p. 123

E-ISBN-13: 9780819573025
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819573018

Page Count: 138
Illustrations: 87 illus.
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 812915204
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Carved in Stone

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Subject Headings

  • Cemeteries -- New England -- Pictorial works.
  • Sepulchral monuments -- New England -- Pictorial works.
  • New England -- History -- Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
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