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Soul in the Stone: Cemetery Art from America's Heartland Hardcover – October 31, 1994

4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This is a very important book. Here is a portal opening on significances within cemetery monuments. Indeed here is a portal opening on worlds beyond the grave, beyond the graveyard."--John Stilgoe, author of Borderland: Origins of the American Suburb

"The book's power is its wonderful, evocative photographs. Using such illustrations, Brown defines the place of the gravestone and cemetery in the vernacular culture of America's heartland."--David C. Sloane, author of The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History

"A most welcome addition to the burgeoning literature on American cemeteries and gravemarkers, and, through its focus upon the nation's heartland, a significant contribution to the study of American regionalism."--Richard E. Meyer, editor of Cemeteries and Gravemarkers: Voices of American Culture

About the Author

John Gary Brown is a professional photographer in Lawrence, Kansas. He has photographed cemeteries in most of the countries of Europe, in Mexico, and in the Middle East, as well as throughout the United States. His photographs have appeared in Smithsonian, Americana, and Architectural Digest.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (October 31, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700606343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700606344
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,570,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
John Gary Brown, does an excellent job at showing the eccentricity and beauty of grave markers. He uses different angles, and points of view in his compositions, to bring out a morbid beauty, that is rarely seen by the naked eye. A truly impressive collection of masterpieces. Just when you think the works speak for themselves, Brown also includes wonderful poetry, which co-exists perfectly with the photographs. A must for anyone's artistic anthology collection.
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Format: Hardcover
My husband John and I love tombstone art and stomp around the countryside taking photos of cemeteries. This is one of our favorite books, with lots of wonderful photos of cemeteries around St. Louis and so forth. The author also writes a wonderful commentary on the nature of cemeteries, their conditions, and how we view them today as a modern American society. The photos of the children's graves are especially haunting. A must for collectors of tombstone art.
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Format: Hardcover
While the photography is excellent, and the author offers several interesting insights into symbolism and customs, the facts about particular monuments are incorrect. He gives the wrong locations for several monuments (placing them in cemeteries across town), and the descriptions of the cemeteries themselves contain errors
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By A Customer on July 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ok, so not everyone is into the "darker" side of life. We prefer to focus on sunflowers, streams and good old-fashioned values here in the midwest.
To many people, gravestones are just plain creepy. Haven't we all watched horror movies where the dead crawl out from beneath a cracked headstone and kill innocent lovers?
Mr. Brown's book made me look at the gravestones in a brighter (although not unentirely SAD) light. I saw the loss that families suffered through in the intricacy of massive stone mausoleums. I felt the emptiness of parents in the lifelike sculptures of their children. And I shook my head at the quirkiness of folks whose death markers are every bit as weird as they themselves must have been.
I've had this book for 5 years and I STILL pick it up now and again to read the stories behind the cemeteries. I have also given it as a gift to people in my life who I know won't get totally freaked out by it. They LOVE it.
It is a wonderful read/lookat/whatever.... just try it!--
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Format: Hardcover
John Gary Brown's work is beautiful, haunting, and mesmerizing. It's a fantastic piece of inspiration that is a great jumping off point for writers and storytellers.
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