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Mourning in the Morning: Carved in Stone: Exploring Cemetery Symbolism & Iconography

Mourning in the Morning: Carved in Stone: Exploring Cemetery Symbolism & Iconography

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED (see below). Registrants will receive the Zoom link in an email one hour before the talk begins.

Symbols are a part of our daily lives. We use, respond, and react to them without much thought. Consider all the traffic signals and symbols you encounter while driving your car or the funny face emojis you include in emails and text messages. Symbols communicate with us subconsciously and can be a substitute for written words.


A cemetery is a virtual encyclopedia of symbols. They are everywhere - on headstones, monuments, mausoleums, chapels, stained glass windows, and statuary. But why are they there? What do they mean? Are symbols meant to be interpreted literally, or is there a deeper meaning? What do they tell us about the deceased?


We will explore the fascinating world of cemetery symbolism and iconography highlighting the Victorian and 19th century symbolism found in Mount Hope and other area cemeteries, as well as take a glimpse at how modern-day cemetery symbols have evolved.

Deb Coffey is a historian, researcher, and cemetery enthusiast. She is a current trustee, tour guide, and volunteer coordinator, with the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York and is an aspiring Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide. Deb has explored and photographed several cemeteries in researching 19th century funerary art & architecture, cemetery symbolism, and Civil War history. Retired from the corporate world, she currently works in Public Safety.

Saturday, November 14, 2020
10:30am - 12:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
Central Library
  All Ages  
  Department - Local History & Genealogy     Streamed Event     Subject - Local History  

Registration is required. There are 77 seats available.

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