I’ll be eager to take in a new exhibit at the City Museum of New York, marking the 175th anniversary of Brooklyn’s Green-wood Cemetery, which its 19th century planners designed to be a pastoral enclave amid the cacophony of the ever-growing metropolis. According to the City Museum’s website, the exhibit “features original artifacts, sculptures, drawings, and Hudson River School paintings; historic documents; and photographs.” Even its antiquated spelling, with the hypen mid-name, rather like the New-York Historical Society, has a 19th century air about it.
Last October, I visited Green-wood for the first time–for the unveiling of the “Angel of Music,” a new memorial statue at the grave of pianist and composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk–and discovered that its 478 acres of rolling hills, big hardwood trees, and sparkling views of Manhattan and NY Harbor, make it a pastoral, soothing place for mourners to say goodbye to their loved ones. As the New York Times‘ Joseph Berger reports after a recent visit to Green-wood, the cemetery is still a pastoral balm to the daily cares of all city-dwellers. Here are some of the pictures I took on that day last fall, on a gorgeous Saturday that turned out to be just three weeks before Superstorm Sandy wrecked hundreds of trees and gravestones in the memorial park, damage they are still working to clean up in one of NYC’s most historic treasures.