Vernacular Memorials-Creativity in the graveyard

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Most studies of gravestone art tend to focus on memorials created by the more skilled masons and elaborate on their ar­tistic or aesthetic qualities. Similarly, the few works that discuss tombstone letter­ing place strong emphasis on those that are considered to be of some artistic or creative merit and ignore those that are by less skilled cutters. In so doing, a resource of cultural significance is overlooked. In this book a gravemarker or inscription that may well have little merit from an ar­tistic perspective has been given its place alongside examples of artistry and crafts­manship. Each has its value as a reflec­tion of a personal situation, as an expres­sion of a cultural tradition, or as a record of some other aspect of the environment in which it was created.

This book celebrates the inventiveness shown by those who have made and will make gravemarkers without inhibition, not necessarily having concern for what is traditionally thought of as ‘right’ or ‘good’.

Vernacular memorials–background and definition
Early markers from the Romans to the seventeenth century
Poverty, naivity and creativity
Regulation and restraint in Britain and mainland Europe
Necessity and invention in the Celtic Fringe
The ubiquitous Christian cross
Old traditions and new materials in the New World

ISBN 978 0 9540891 5 3
paperback  24.5 X 18.5 cms  102 pages (many in colour)
UK £4
USA and Canada £5 surface mail £7.50 airmail