Lasting Impressions: Art, Symbolism, and History Found in Graveyards and Cemeteries by Paulette Chernack and Cassandra Davidson

Ordering Information

Hardcover, $29.95, 184 pp. 9×10″, full color
ISBN: 978-1-937721-38-1, 2016
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Lasting Impressions

Art, Symbolism, and History Found in Graveyards and Cemeteries
by Paulette Chernack and Cassandra Davidson

Readers’ Comments

“From A to Z, Paulette effortlessly uncovers the historical and practical knowledge of gravestones, stone carvers, and gravestone rubbing while Cassandra brings to life the unique and often overlooked artwork found on gravestones across North America. Evident is their deep appreciation and respect for the dearly departed and their final resting sites as the book includes the proper procedure for gravestone rubbing. History detectives, both young and old, will enjoy the Study Guide. Through thought-provoking questions and hands-on activities, the reader is led to rediscover and reconnect with their local cemetery. Lasting Impressions provides all the necessary tools for your next trip to the cemetery to come alive.”

James Smith, photographic collections manager, Portsmouth Athenaeum, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“This is a beautiful book, an immersive book. After a few minutes with these stones carved long ago to honor the dead, you begin to feel what their lives were like when they walked these grounds, what their families were like, and their communities. You feel a tug at your own roots. As art books go, this one brims with a love for its subjects, a passion for New England relics and compassion for the generations who lived fully on this land and were buried beneath it.”

—Michael Kimball, author and playwright, recipient of the 2014 John Gassner Playwriting Award for his play “Duck and Cover.”

About the Book

From their own extensive collection of hundreds of gravestone rubbings and photographs, the author and the illustrator, a mother/daughter team, have carefully compiled an exceptionally beautiful book concentrating on the art, symbolism, and history found in graveyards and cemeteries.

An extensive Index illustrating the symbolism carved on gravestones, information about how to properly rub a gravestone, important conservation and preservation notes, and a comprehensive study guide for educators make Lasting Impressions an important resource book for anyone interested in learning more about American gravestone carving of the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries.

Each book section decodes the iconology found on New England gravestones, and in other locations such as Lewes, Delaware; Charleston, South Carolina; Key West and the west coast Florida. Even the history of New Orleans cemeteries with its so-called “Cities of the Dead” has its place in this presentation.

Warning: Once you have this book in your possession, drive carefully along country roads and suburban highways because you’ll want to brake for old graveyards.

About the Authors

Both Paulette and Cassandra are members of the Association for Gravestone Studies and the Maine Old Cemetery Association. They have educated people about gravestone art and its history through hands-on lectures, demonstrations, and gallery exhibits. In 2003, they acquired Old Stone Enterprises and continue its tradition of manufacturing and selling high quality, deep-pigmented rubbing wax and malleable paper. Their products are sold worldwide, including an artist quality gravestone rubbing kit they designed and recently revised.

Their company, Gravestone Artwear® has been featured in The Boston Globe; Yankee Magazine; Down East Magazine; the Portland Press Herald; local Portsmouth, New Hampshire, seacoast newspapers; Boston WCVB TV’s Chronicle series; and as the subject of a Canadian documentary on unusual businesses.

Readers can contact Paulette Chernack and Cassandra Davidson at or follow them on Facebook at gravestoneartwear.