Hollywood: Inspiration for Art
Program InformationProgram: Hollywood: Richmond's Garden Cemetery
Segment Number: 12 (Watch entire program)
Year Produced: 2004
Hollywood’s landscape, mature flora and decorative monuments hearken back to the nineteenth century but they have also become a modern backdrop for art.
Richmond boasts a cemetery, named Hollywood because of the natural proliferation of holly trees on the grounds, whose history, beauty and tranquility have made it a local treasure. Hollywood Cemetery lives out its original intention for the living and the dead. It is a mature green space with a commanding view of the James River that serves the public as a natural retreat within the confines of the city. It is the final resting place for two U.S. presidents, the only confederate president, several confederate generals, a Supreme Court justice, writers and local celebrities - as well as many people who are not famous at all. In addition to its legendary status in Richmond and beyond, Hollywood remains a working cemetery.For more information visit: http://ideastations.org/hollywood
Hollywood’s landscape, mature flora and decorative monuments hearken back to the nineteenth century but they have also become a modern backdrop for art. College professors often send their students to Hollywood to fulfill assignments for photography class. Rock bands pose among the stonework for CD cover artwork and musical artists and performers have used the cemetery as a setting for music video production. Hollywood has also become a destination and a subject for landscape artists.
“Painting is my primary absorbing occupation.”
“I’ve done some of the buildings in Richmond here but my overall preference is for more pastoral subjects.”
“I’ve painted near the entrance looking back up the hill, and on the far side looking down an avenue of very large trees. And the one I’m working on is the fourth in the cemetery pictures.”
“I’m going to be working over the southern bank of Hollywood which overlooks the river, canal and railroad tracks.”
“The hills make it that much more interesting because you can get views looking down: it has such wonderful views of the river.”
“The curving roads and beautiful curves of the railroad tracks as well as the canal making a curve, all lined with trees and very lively. It’s sort of a nature reserve because you get red tail hawks living in Hollywood, I’ve seen muskrats in the canal, I’ve seen deer. So it’s sort of like the country in the middle of the city”
“It’s not a typical cemetery. I tend to think of it as a park where people happen to be buried than a cemetery.”