Cemetery art, yes please
I’ve long been aware of the Evelyn Waugh connection with Forest Lawn Memorial Park (in Glendale, California, ie. Hollywood adjacent), as I have also long enjoyed his scathing satire of Hollywood in The Loved One! — (as well as his other work). Though I revere Waugh, I also truly like being at Forest Lawn and have over the years I’ve lived in Los Angeles.
There are other films I enjoy that take place in cemeteries like the seminal Dellemorte Dellamore aka Cemetery Man, but let’s get back to Forest Lawn.
Growing up as a Washington, DC kid, being in massive hallowed halls with insanely large classic paintings is nothing new to me, but I have never seen anything in my life like the 195-foot wide piece they have at Forest Lawn called The Crucifixion.
This is just one of the massively impressive works of art housed at Forest Lawn. The cemetery is also where people like Michael Jackson are buried. The grounds are high atop the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, with tree lined roads with cemetery “neighborhood” names etched onto the curbs there. Be on the look-out for these names like “Ascension”, “Eventide”, “Inspiration Slope” and others. There are stone churches and structures in various wooded nooks as well as large marble statues and fountains dotting the lush-ness against a dry desert landscape of the lizard folks of Los Angeles.
Last night, Forest Lawn held a delightful event called “Unveiling the Past” I was fortunate enough to attend for a new exhibit that will run through mid-March 2022. It was spectacular to be back on the grounds and take in all the art including decades old adverts, reliefs, stained glass and sculptures– and learning overall more about the history of this institution. I’ve been visiting the cemetery for years to feel some peace, to get away from the backdrop of the millions of humans stepping on each other to get a “piece of Hollywood”. It’s great to walk around, read the poetry etched into stones and tip toe around the departed and listen to their wisdom after their escapes from this “mortal coil”.
*Also the gift shop at the cemetery museum is really nice.
Here are some of my photos from this after dark at Forest Lawn adventure. Please enjoy!
Yes, I took all these photos and the banner too. All rights reserved. Thank you.