The Gardner family tomb overlooks picturesque Auburn Lake in Mount Auburn Cemetery, and is one of our most timeless and beloved treasures. Consistently the focal point of tours led by the Friends of Mount Auburn, the tomb is frequently visited by devoted fans of Isabella Stewart Gardner, members and supporters of the Gardner Museum, and our more than 200,000 visitors a year. Today, with the vicissitudes of time, the tomb’s surfaces and interior have suffered marked erosion and are urgently in need of preservation. Thanks to a leadership gift from the estate of a Gardner family member, work is underway to restore and stabilize this important structure.
Set into the hillside overlooking the north end of Auburn Lake, the family tomb was built in 1859 using Concord Granite with a brick foundation and marble tile floor. Among the family members interred in the tomb are Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840 – 1924) and her husband, John Gardner (1837 – 1898). Their son was also buried here in 1868. The exterior façade of the tomb features distinctive incised carvings with a Greek key design, as well as a large oak door with bronze decorative elements. Inside the tomb, two marble portrait sculptures by the French artist Jules Clement commemorate two children who died within days of each other in 1865. A bust of a young girl represents Catherine Elizabeth Gardner (1857 – 1865), and an oval bas-relief profile depicts Samuel Pickering Gardner (1864 – 1865), most likely the children of George Augustus and Eliza Endicott Peabody Gardner. (more…)
Svetlana Boym was born in Leningrad on April 29, 1959, and left the U.S.S.R. for the United States in 1980 at the age of 21. After graduate studies in Boston and Cambridge, MA, she became the Curt Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literatures at Harvard University, as well as a novelist, playwright, cultural critic and new media artist.
Boym’s written work combined historical analysis, philosophical essay and personal memoir, exploring motifs of nostalgia, exile, freedom and memory, and most especially, the concept of the off-modern. Meanwhile, her scholarly research touched upon the diasporic imagination and revealed parallels and connections within and between the fields of comparative literature, cultural studies and 20th-century Russian literature. (more…)
Known as one of the leading moral and political philosophers of the past century, John B. Rawls was born on February 21, 1921. (more…)
Published biannually, Sweet Auburn is an exploration and celebration of the many facets of Mount Auburn Cemetery. Topics covered in the magazine include art, architecture, biography, burial and commemoration, conservation, design, ecology, education, history, horticulture , genealogy, preservation, and wildlife. (more…)