Roses of Yesterday

Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas

Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas

Harriet Whitney Frishmuth (September 17, 1880 – January 1980) was well known Philadelphia-born sculptor who became famous for her sculptures of women—sleek, feminine, and classical.  Frishmuth studied with many of the great sculptors of her time, including Auguste Rodin in Paris, Cuno Von Uechtritz-Steinkirch at Berlin, and Gutzon Borglum and Karl Bitter while in New York. Her bronze sculptures of women became sought after. Her work won fame and awards.

"Speed" a sculpture by Harriet Frishmuth

“Speed” a sculpture by Harriet Frishmuth

She was commissioned to create many works of art, including funerary sculptures. The sculpture in the Glenwood Cemetery of Houston, Texas, for the graves of Walter Benona Sharp (December 12, 1870 – November 28, 1912) and Estelle Boughton Sharp (June 19, 1873 – August 30, 1965), was cast and titled Roses of Yesterday. The Sharps chose it for their memorial. Another casting of this statue can be found in the Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. The inscription on the sun dial is, “PERENNIS AMOR”, Latin meaning, “ENDLESS LOVE.”


Two other commissions can be found in Forest Lawn Cemetery at Buffalo and the Berwind Memorial in the Laurel Hill Cemetery at Philadelphia, where Frishmuth is buried.

The dramatic 10-foot bronze sculpture “Aspiration” was created in 1926 by Harriet Whitney Frishmuth (1880-1980) for the William Arthur Rogers (1851-1946) monument in the Forest Lawn Cemetery at Buffalo, New York.


In 1933, another version of the “Aspiration” was carved out of a single block of granite for the Henry Berwind (1859-1932) monument in the Laurel Hill Cemetery, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The stone version of “Aspiration” marks the grave of businessman Henry “Harry” Berwind, vice president of the Berwind-White Coal Company, run by his brother, Edward.


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2 Responses to Roses of Yesterday


    Beautiful statue! Why the title ASPIRATION?

    • The Berwind Memorial may give a clue to the answer to your question. Behind the statue of Aspiration in the top of the carved alcove in which she stands are carved stars. She reaches upward toward the sky, her “aspiration” perhaps is to reach into the Heavens.

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