FDChat #10 – Cemetery Photography

FDChat #10 – Cemetery Photography

with nancy

Nancy Burban talks with cemetery photographer John Thomas Grant. They discuss the beauty of cemetery monuments in the eastern states and why John Grant began to photograph cemeteries.

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Show Notes

Contact John Thomas Grant:
John Thomas Grant
Passion Projects
Douglas Keister
Green-Wood Cemetery
Cemetery Monument

Interview Excerpt:
Nancy Burban:  Well John, do you have any favorite cemeteries?

John Thomas Grant:  Of course. I lived for 20 years or there about in Brooklyn. You can't get any better than Green-Wood. That's my home away from home. I don't know how many times I've been to that place. Some of my finest pictures come out of there. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't start terribly long ago so, I have not traveled that far in pursuit of the pictures. It's still life and I'm still trying to get my photography to a point where it could be a form of subsistence, if you will.

John Thomas Grant Interview Transcript

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  • John Thomas Grant

    Thank you Nancy and Rick for the opportunity to speak to your audience on Funeral Directors Chat. It was my first time on a podcast and the editing was excellent as you said it would:) Greatly appreciated, many thanks on that. Anyway, “Final Thoughts” will be out in about 7 months so I do hope to stop by for one more conversation. Thanks again.

  • admin

    It’s been our pleasure John, you have some terrific photography that we all enjoy very much. Thank you for being our guest Funeral Director’s Chat.

  • Amy Walker

    Two of my very favorite people!!! John–your art is amazing and is a joy to view on a daily basis!! THANK YOU for working so hard to promote and encourage people to see the beauty, romance, and LIFE in cemeteries. They tell amazing stories of those that have gone before us, and for that I am grateful. And thank YOU Nancy, again, for your education, insight and hard work!!

  • Nancy Burban

    Thank you to two of my favorite people too!!! John, your work is amazing. I can see your soul in every portrait & the soul of the dearly departed shining under your luminescent light!
    Amy, what a great friend and support you are!
    John, please come back & do part two when your book launches!
    I look forward to it!

  • Robin Biddle

    It is most encouraging to view this dialog! John Grant’s usage of his art combined with his eye for the humanity found amongst the memorials of those passed is far reaching in its affect toward not only cemetery APPRECIATION but cemetery PRESERVATION!. Suddenly one learns that the “old stones” are telling many stories. One learns of lost child, a fallen soldier, perhaps the happier story of an old couple buried where they can view their homeplace to reminisce their life’s events. Though in his mindseye we see many facets of what that person may have been like. The irony of a stone leaning over another one, or a huge granite stone protectively guarding a small fragile one evokes many emotions upon the viewer. He personalizes these places with these still life pictures and goes a step beyond with thought provoking angles and plays on light. Many people for their own personal reasons are interested in burial grounds. Some have yet to see the grand scale monuments that John has filmed but be they exquisite or humble nature’s backdrop makes them all breathtakingly beautiful. Once one sees the beauty of the stones and grounds they can become protective and at times proactive in the protection of them. John takes this all to a whole new level. He allows us to see the pure beauty of the still life and then the absolute beauty of life itself. The eyes from some of the statues take on a life of their own. A new and incredibly beautiful art form, “John Grant style” has become real. His vision is highly personal, the camera collects his work but his photo lens tells many stories. Now instead of seeing humanities negative light one can see it frailities. Life appreciation “101″. When John’s book becomes available our local cemetery preservation society will not only be made aware of it but we will be promoting it to others. As they say……..a picture is worth a thousand words. These types of linkages go far in the protection of cemeteries. It is very exciting to see this coming to fruition and we know that John’s book will be a catalyst amongst groups like ours. The Funeral Directors chat here is most encouraging. I salute Nancy’s role in the chat here and being able to see John out there making others aware of his art and the growing interest in it. Dialog is imperative for all of us involved in the interest of cemetery preservation as well as the beauty of its artform. Together we can learn to appreciate all of the beauty around us and thanks to John and this dialog here I believe we have a very good start! Thank you!

  • Steven C. Turner

    This podcast opened my eyes to the beauty right before our eyes in every cemetery.
    Thank you Nancy & John for sharing this art.

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