Erica Danylchak, Grave Landscapes: The Nineteenth-Century Rural Cemetery Movement

Cherokee Garden Library Lecture, Book Launch

Erica Danylchak, Grave Landscapes: The Nineteenth-Century Rural Cemetery Movement

Author and preservationist Erica Danylchak will discuss Grave Landscapes, her new University of South Carolina Press book co-authored with the late James R. Cothran.

During the Industrial Revolution people flocked to American cities, where overcrowding led to packed urban graveyards that were unsightly and a source of public health fears. The solution was a revolutionary new type of American burial ground located in the countryside just beyond the city. This rural cemetery movement, which featured beautifully landscaped grounds and sculptural monuments, is documented in Grave Landscapes by Danylchak and Cothran (1940-2013), landscape architect, urban planner, and garden historian.

Rural cemeteries predated America’s public parks, and their popularity as picturesque retreats helped propel America’s public parks movement. Grave Landscapes details rural cemetery design characteristics to facilitate their identification and preservation, and places rural cemeteries into the broader context of American landscape design to encourage appreciation of their broader influence on the design of public spaces. Danylchak will discuss the inspiration for rural cemeteries, their physical evolution, the nature of the landscapes they inspired, and the value of these cemeteries in the 21st century.

Book signing and light refreshments will follow the lecture.

Admission for all lectures is $10 for general public, $5 for members, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted.