Gravestone Art and Symbolism
Early New England burial grounds were the first public art galleries in the New World. This presentation will cover the progression and interpretation of early symbolism or iconography, from those seen in family burial plots to the more elaborate ones seen in the “rural” and lawn park cemeteries of the Victorian era and, later still, in the Memorial Parks of the 20th Century. Modern examples of memorialization and symbolism will be included, as will the changing techniques and skills required by the early slate and sandstone carvers, contrasting with today's techniques such as laser etching. They will also tell the stories of the people that these stones commemorate.
The presentation will also cover gravestone restoration and conservation, and means of recording and retaining gravestone artwork through photography, rubbings and foil impressions. Lorna and Phil Woolridge of Wise Owl Workshops will speak and also present examples of rubbings, casts and foil impressions.
Lorna and Phil Wooldridge make up Wise Owl Workshops, which was created to teach a group of young people about the migration of the Monarch butterfly, at the Franklin Branch of the Warren County Library but has grown into teaching workshops about gravestone art, native gardening and other topics. Lorna has a British teaching degree and specialized in the teaching of specific learning difficulties and Dyslexia. She taught for ten years in Britain as both a classroom and special needs teacher, and currently tutors privately, specializing in teaching children with dyslexia. Phil worked for over 20 years in software development and is now running a home and garden equipment repair business, Wise Owl Repairs.
This program is supported through funding from the Friends of the Morristown & Morris Township Library.