• Stories in Stone: The Historic Burying Grounds of Boston


Preachers, patriots and artists lie alongside pirates and slaves in Boston’s early graveyards, and their lives provide inspiration for the exhibit Stories in Stone: The Historic Burying Grounds of Boston, at the Adams Gallery from Aug. 1 through Oct. 20, 2008.

Stories in Stone draws on artworks, archival records and photography to paint a picture of life and culture in Boston dating from the colony’s first settlement to today.

Bostonians of means had stones erected in memory of family members, and the images and epitaphs on these early grave markers tell individual stories while reflecting cultural changes from the 17th through 19th centuries. 

The legend of Paul Revere is illustrated with the patriot’s portrait, his engraving of the “Boston Massacre,” and an excerpt from Longfellow’s poem celebrating the Revere’s “Midnight Ride.” Revere is buried in the Granary Burying Ground, as are the victims of the Boston Massacre.

The exhibit also looks at the stonemason’s art, the meaning of gravestone iconography and preservation efforts.

The stories continue today, with photographs showing neighbors who have adopted a pair of historic graveyards in South Boston. They plant flowers and feed birds in a spot seen as an oasis in their densely populated neighborhood.

The exhibit is presented by Suffolk University in partnership with the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Historic Burying Grounds Initiative.

Stories in Stone: The Historic Burying Grounds of Boston
Adams Gallery
David J. Sargent Hall
Suffolk University
120 Tremont St., Boston
Gallery hours: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily

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Nancy Kelleher
Mariellen Norris
Tony Ferullo