Occasionally, gravestones and monuments give clues about the deceased that are subtle—and those clues can take different forms. In the F. W. Blanchard monument, for instance, there is a clue to what was a big part of Blanchard’s life and legacy resting on the lap of the mourning figure.
The scroll of a violin rests on the mourning figure’s lap, seemingly out of place, that is until more is known about Frederick W. Blanchard, the first president of the Hollywood Bowl.
Blanchard was born in West Millbury, Massachusetts, the son of a prominent business man. He made his way to Denver where he worked in and later opened his own music store, which flourished. He sold his interest in the business and kept moving west—to Los Angeles, where he established a music firm that promoted musicians. Blanchard became influential in the art and music world of his adopted city of Los Angeles, always at the center.
Founded the Brahms Quartet
Served as President of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra
Served as President of the Development Association
Formed the Community Park and Arts Association of Hollywood in 1920, serving as President from 1920-23, which later became the Hollywood Bowl Association
Served as a member of the City Plan Commission
Served as Chairman of the Police and Fireman’s Relief Fund
Served as Chairman of the first Community Chest
Served as the president of the American Opera Association
Frederick Blanchard’s reach and influence in the city of Los Angeles, especially the art community, was far and wide. The tiny violin scroll, which goes almost unnoticed on his monument, is a nod to his interests and influence in music and the arts.