This Thursday on Fieldstone Common we will speak with authors and brothers Thomas and William Gilson about their book Carved in Stone: The Artistry of Early New England Gravestones.
Gravestones are colonial America’s earliest sculpture and they provide a unique physical link to the European people who settled here. Carved in Stone is an elegant collection of over 80 fine duotone photographs, each a personal meditation on an old stone carving, and on New England’s past, where these stones tell stories about death at sea, epidemics such as small pox, the loss of children, and a grim view of the afterlife. The essay is a graceful narrative that explores a long personal involvement with the stones and their placement in New England landscape, and attempts to trace the curious and imperfectly documented story of carvers. Brief quotes from early New England writers accompany the images, and captions provide basic information about each stone. These meditative portraits present an intimate view of figures from New England graveyards and will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in early Americana and fine art photography.
Thomas E. Gilson is the author of The New England Farm, a highly praised book of photographs. He taught black and white photography in Vermont for 17 years and was managing editor and photographer for the New England Farmer. His photographs have been widely published and exhibited.
William Gilson attended the University of Connecticut, and his writing has been published in journals and magazines including New England Review, Orion, and Poetry Salzburg Review.
The Gilson brothers were born and raised in Connecticut.