Re: Pictures on tombstones #general

Jenny Schwartzberg

Dear Genners,

In my explorations of Jewish Waldheim Cemetery, Forest Park, IL, I have
found many tombstones with pictures on them, generally either on china
ovals set into the top of the front of the stone above the inscription, or
with the china ovals having metal covers to protect the pictures. They
are generally on the oldest graves, >from 1900-1930 though I have seen at
least one >from the 1990s but that was the grave of an elderly woman buried
next to her parents who also had pictures on their stones, so I guess the
family wanted to match the stones. I think they are wonderful. Often,
I've never seen pictures of these distant cousins so they bring them to
life, and sometimes I can trace family resemblances. It is so frustrating
when the pictures have been deliberately defaced. On one stone, the
picture was the 2nd known picture of an 91 year old cousin's father, who
died when my cousin was 12. The stone's picture was partly gone, with the
face missing, and the other known picture is very very faded. It would
have been lovely to give my cousin a good picture of her father.

My deduction >from my explorations is that it was popular to have these
pictures on stones but not a given and that it fell out of fashion after
the 1930's or even earlier but some people continued to have pictures
because they were used to seeing them on their families's stones and liked
them. I'm not familiar with other cemeteries though so this conclusion is
just for the Chicago Jewish community.

Jenny Schwartzberg
Chicago, IL
Poland; KAPLAN, Antopol, Belarus; KAMENETZKY, Antopol, Belarus; PILCHIK,
Selets, Belarus; PLOTNITZKY, Selets, Belarus; TELECHANSKY, Motol and
Drogichin, Belarus; SHERESHEVSKY, Motol, Belarus; GAYLBURD, Priluki
Staraya, Turbov, and Vinnitsa, Ukraine; GORDY, Vinnitsa, Ukraine; LUNDI,
Priluki Staraya, Ukraine; KANTOROWITZ, Baranovici and Turetz, Belarus;

MODERATOR NOTE: Names list truncated at 6 lines.

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