I have always loved old cemeteries. There is a marvelous Victorian one in Danville, Kentucky, where I went to college. My roommate and I would go walking there often, and my landscape painting class would have plein air outings there.
In Memphis, we have Elmwood, begun around the Civil War era and continuing through the yellow fever period, the Victorians, and on into the present history of the city. My mother-in-law was the staff historian for a while, which sounds like a marvelous job.
My travel prints got distracted from Memphis, what with my love of the St. Louis parks, but I decided I needed some more Memphis scenes and went sketching at Elmwood recently to get a good image for a print. I'm currently working on a print of the top left image.
Then this morning it was just lovely out, so I did a couple of watercolors before returning home to work on some more printmaking. I'd like to do a few more before my upcoming show. Cemeteries were early public spaces that influenced how we think about parks. One of Olmstead's early projects was a revolutionary design for one in California. Elmwood is a good fit for my public spaces theme of the upcoming show.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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