The imagery of 18th-century Gravestones in the Burying Yard of York, Maine

Jennifer Ogborne '02

Jennifer Ogborne, an art history and archaeology interdisciplinary major, with a double major in history and a minor in anthropology '02, undertook a year-long independent study project on the imagery of 18th-century gravestones in the Burying Yard of York, Maine. In the course of her research and the writing of her final paper, Jennifer worked with professors in history and art history.

She photographed, described and analyzed the York grave stones, which had never before been studied as a group. Her original research on the most frequently used motifs: the death's head, the winged cherub head, and the urn and willow, revealed York's debt to Boston as a style-setter in the changing tastes in grave stone decoration. Through meticulous visual analysis of script styles and distinct carving styles shown in details of wings or heads, Jennifer succeeded in identifying the individual stone carvers or workshops that had carved the York stones.

Preeble grave stone

Gravestone of Deacon Abraham Preeble
Carved by Nathaniel Emmes.Burying Yard, York, Maine.
Photograph by Jennifer Ogborne

Jennifer continued her archaeological studies at the graduated school of the College of William and Mary in the fall of 2002.