Iconography at Bellefontaine Cemetery

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Iconography is the study and interpretation of images or symbols used on headstones, crypts, and mausoleums in a cemetery. Cemeteries are virtual encyclopedias of symbolism. The symbols on a person’s grave may help tell us something about their life. Grave markers not only record the departed’s names, dates of birth and death, but the design often indicates a person’s history, religion, ethnicity, culture, occupation, and social status as well as their pleasures, sorrows, and hopes for the afterlife. Dead men may tell no tales, but their tombstones do. Dead men may tell no tales but their tombstones and mausoleums hold a wealth of information and stories.

If you would like to learn more about cemetery iconography and symbolism, sign up for our monthly emails! We’ll send information to you about iconography, upcoming tours and events, and other services offered at Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum, please provide your name and email address, and we will send you informational emails to keep you up to date on our latest news and events.

You can also check our events calendar to learn about upcoming tours and events, including those about art, architecture, symbolism, and iconography.

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