Virtual ways to enjoy the Cemetery

May 1, 2020

Follow Us on Social Media

Our staff continue to regularly post historical and horticultural highlights on our social medial channels. Make sure you are following us to learn more about the may facets of Mount Auburn and to get our latest news: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Join a Virtual Public Program


Friday, June 5, 6 pm: Satigata: An Evening of Music, Meditation & Chanting

Monday, June 8, 6 pm: The Art of Mourning Jewelry: Special History Event with Metalsmith and Collector Sarah Nehama

Wednesday, June 17, 6 pm: A Pride Week Walk through Mount Auburn Cemetery

Sunday, June 28, 1 pm: “Through the Eternal Gates”: Fanny Osgood and Fanny Fern

Tuesday, June 30, 5 pm: Virtual Event: Stories in Stone: Gravestone Iconography

… and more events are being added weekly!

Watch Recordings of previously held Virtual Programs:

These programs have already happened, however you can watch the recorded videos here at a time of your own choosing!

Explore our Archives

Explore our Online Collections Database. This online catalog allows you to explore Mount Auburn’s Historical Collections & Archives. Holdings include a wide range of prints, photographs, books, ephemera, maps, plans, decorative arts, fine art, and more than 3,500 linear feet of archival records.

An Invitation to Help Transcribe Our History – From Home! Mount Auburn is pleased to announce an exciting new transcription project that welcomes your participation in making our history more accessible. The Cemetery’s Historical Collections & Archives staff have preserved our most significant archival documents, but many of these are hand-written 19th-century letters and reports that are not easy to read. By transcribing these materials, researchers will be able to read and search across thousands of pages for the first time. That’s where you come in!

Learn more about Mount Auburn’s Significant Monuments in our online exhibit featuring thirty monuments of historic and artistic significance.

Our digital archive includes all of the past issues of Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn.

Be Inspired

Explore the final projects of Mount Auburn’s former Artists-in-Residence: – In a multimedia project that includes twenty nine videos, photographs, and words, Mount Auburn’s first Artist-in-Residence Roberto Mighty celebrates the seasons and the stories of Mount Auburn.

Spring & Autumn Suites – Twelve classical works composed by Mount Auburn’s second Artist-in-Residence Mary Bichner and recorded at WGBH Studios draw inspiration from the landscape’s seasonal colors and the poetry of its notable residents

Learn more about our many facets

Stay Home Sweet Auburn: an exciting new video series started by The Friends of Mount Auburn during the pandemic. We are continuing to expand our virtual programming so you can learn from home!

Listen to the recent Talk Nerdy Podcast interview with Paul Kwaitkowski, Mount Auburn’s Wildlife Conservation and Sustainability Manager on Citizen Science to learn more about our efforts to create beneficial wildlife habitat.

Browse Mount Auburn’s website and read Notable People Biographies and History, Horticulture, and Wildlife Highlights, or learn about Environmental Stewardship initiatives.

Take a Deep Breath

View a peaceful and calming Spring and Early Summer slideshow with music from Composer-in-Residence Mary Bichner.

Watch a serene scene slideshow from Mount Auburn with inspiring music!

Relax with a Mount Auburn Moment of Zen. Mount Auburn’s grounds may be closed to the public to keep our staff and families burying loved ones safe, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of springtime at Mount Auburn.

Watch a contemplative concert with Satigata, performed in Story Chapel on April 9, 2017 and recorded by Cambridge Community Television.

Enjoy memories of previous spring seasons at Mount Auburn Cemetery!

Mount Auburn Monuments Designed by Sarah Wyman Whitman

June 1, 2020

Boston artist Sarah Wyman Whitman (1842–1904) is most celebrated for the highly original book covers she designed for Houghton, Mifflin from 1884 to 1900, and for her stained-glass windows, including the Brimmer Memorial window at Harvard’s Memorial Hall. Less known is that she also designed gravestones for friends and family. Of those so far identified, all but one are in Mount Auburn Cemetery. 

Stuart Walker – who wrote the accompanying article to this webpost in Sweet Auburn Magazine 2020 Vol 1 – wishes to acknowledge the many years of assistance and support of Meg L. Winslow, Curator of Historical Collections at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Stanley Cushing, Curator Emeritus of Rare Books at the Boston Athenaeum, for alerting him to the Lodge family monuments, and Mary L. Kwas, independent researcher, for discovering the Wyman family lot and helping confirm the identity of Sarah Adams Wyman. 

Timmins Lot #2424 Jasmine Path photos below

Sarah Whitman was especially fond of the two nieces of her close friend Martin Brimmer, the president of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and author of Egypt: three essays on the history, religion and art of ancient Egypt, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1892. When Brimmer’s niece Sara Greene Timmins, known as Gemma died in 1890, Whitman designed something like a stained glass window in marble in memory of her for Lot 2424 Jasmine Path. The monument has a border in Italian that translates “You are far from steep pathways, you are far from art; Now you see the sun shining before you” (Dante). Nearby is a small stone, also designed by Whitman that marks the grave of Gemma’s little niece Minna. Photos of the Timmins lot below:

Wyman Lot #4543 Oriole Path photos below

In December 1889, the Evans & Tombs Company delivered three “tablets” marking the graves of two of Whitman’s siblings, who died in childhood, and her father’s youngest sister, Sarah Adams Wyman, who died in 1841 at the age of sixteen. These three had been re-interred in 1880 alongside Whitman’s father, William White Wyman, who died two years earlier. The children’s stones are dark and rough, but the young aunt’s marker, created out of a soft, rose-colored stone, is decorated with a central cross flanked by massed leaves, above a line from Proverbs: “They that seek me early shall find me.” Photos of the Wyman lot below:

Lodge Lot #5458 Excelsior Path photos below

Mary Greenwood Lodge died in December 1889. She was buried at Mount Auburn between her husband James and her three young sons, who had all predeceased her. The marker for the children is particularly affecting; in form it suggests three small figures standing shoulder to shoulder. Across their shared “torso” is inscribed “Suffer the little children to come unto me,” followed by a line of intertwined flowers. Photos of the Lodge lot below:

Prescott Lot #5975 Orion Path photos below

After the death of Whitman’s friend Josephine Augusta (Peabody) Prescott—mother of Catherine Elizabeth Prescott (little Minna’s mother) and of Edith Prescott, who married Roger Wolcott (Governor of Massachusetts, 1896–1899)—Whitman designed a number of gravestones for the Prescott Lot. They are all made of “Iowa marble,” which unfortunately has degraded over time. Sketch in the gallery below is from the Evans Co. Workbook (for the seven Prescott Family stones with designs by Sarah Wyman Whitman) and appears courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library.

Photos of the Prescott lot below:

Sarah Whitman Lot #6084 Indian Ridge Path photos below

Sarah Whitman’s own gravestone, and those of her husband and brother, bear none of the artistry and little of the distinctive lettering that define so much of her work. Her own marker bears no name, only a cross and the words “Sursum corda” (Lift up your hearts). The graves are tucked into a corner along the Indian Ridge Path, far from her family but just across the path from her close friend Martin Brimmer.  Photos of Whitman lot below:

Read more about Sarah Wyman Whitman in Sweet Auburn Magazine!