The faces of death
The secularization of mourning and death in the Gilded Age
Keywords:cemetery, rural cemetery movement, gravestone, collective memory, monuments
The Rural Cemetery Movement ushered in a new way of thinking about cemeteries in American society after 1831. As these cemeteries became civic assets, they were widely visited by people and became a mediated space for articulating and expanding collective memory. The gravestones and monuments in these cemeteries erected in the second half of the nineteenth century combined increasingly secular messages and memory in a sacrosanct setting, thus blurring the lines in cemeteries between the secular and the sacred.
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