Welcome to the Graveyard: The Evolution of Tombstones & Cemeteries

Friday, September 6, 2019 at 7:00 PM

This adult oriented presentation charts the evolution of cemetery art, history and symbolism in a 90 minute visual lecture followed by a reception. The ‘virtual tour’ takes us from the colonial burial grounds of New England, through the rural cemetery movement of the 19th century and into 21st century locations. It examines why we have cemeteries and gravestones, why they look like they do and how styles and art have evolved over almost 400 years. This program has created and presented to many different towns and groups, such as historical societies, genealogy groups, libraries and others for almost twenty years.


Brenda Sullivan is the Proprietrix of Gravestone Girls. She creates decorative artwork using the beautiful and primitive images carved on olde New England gravestones; give lectures and tours on cemetery art, history and symbolism as well as teaches gravestone rubbing classes! Her work aims to entertain and educate on the historical perspective of old cemeteries by documenting and preserving the beautiful art they contain. The Gravestone Girls’s mission is to help preserve a rich folk art tradition unique to our nation.

This lecture & reception will take place on Friday, September 6 at 7:00 pm in Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse.

Ticket pricing is $20/General Admission, $18/Seniors (65 & Up), $18/Students with ID, $15/Members, $10/Youth (6-12), and $0/Child (5 & Under). Tickets can be purchased at the door or online.

Please note - youth and children must be accompanied by an adult.

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