Coffins, Crypts and Contemporary Art 

Friday, Oct. 18

Cemeteries are not only where the dead are laid to rest; they're proof of the rich history of an era, a vivid display of art and architecture. Whoever says art is reserved for museums hasn't talked to Amy Pence-Brown, the art and architecture historian, writer, independent curator and preservationist who will guide guests on an evening walking tour of Boise's historic Morris Hill Cemetery. The art forms in Morris Hill are immortalized in headstones, as well as landscape design, statuary, glasswork and literature that surround the 32,000 interred and their graves. Pence-Brown will give lessons about the symbolism of gravestones, explaining what an open book on a tombstone means or what the shape and material of certain stone say about the deceased.

Funerary art trends follow traditional art movements throughout America--the Morris Hill Cemetery captures a moment in time documenting the history, ethnicity and culture of Boise. The cemetery covers more than 70 acres of platted history, so comfortable shoes and warm clothes are seriously recommended. This 1.5-hour walk around the cemetery grounds covers more than 131 years of history, with monuments to Civil and World War II veterans and historic Boise figures ranging from fugitives to homesteaders.

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