First shared on this blog several months ago, I wanted to provide some additional information about Oakland Cemetery's (Atlanta, Georgia) NEAL monument. It's claim to fame is the style of design -- neoclassical. Neoclassicism is defined at TheFreeDictionary.com
(citing the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed.) as having characteristics of order, symmetry, and simplicity. Renowned cemetery photographer and author Douglas Keister states in his symbolism and iconography book Stories in Stone
, "Most funerary architecture in this [Neoclassical] style is characterized by clean, elegant lines and restrained ornament."
Though the monument is simple in design, there are still symbolic elements included. The cross, open book, palm frond, and wreath may all be described as Christian symbols. Most notably are the cross and open book, possibly depicting the Bible. The palm frond and wreath are Roman symbols of victory, adapted by Christians as triumph over death. (Another example of the palm frond and wreath symbols is here
The NEAL monument stands to memorialize Mollie C. Neal (1844-1894) and Mary Lizzie Neal (1867-1889).
Photos © 2011/2 S. Lincecum.