Collaboration

The Mori monument in the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx was a collaboration between sculptor Charles Keck (September 9, 1875 – April 23, 1951) and architect Raymond Mathewson Hood (March 29, 1881 – August 14, 1934).

PLACIDO

SEPT 11 1868 – JULY 17 1927

ALBERT H

SEPT 5 1897 – NOV 4 1951

MORI

Hood was an American architect who had an outsized influence that dominated twentieth century architecture.  His designs include the Tribune Tower in Chicago and Rockefeller Center in New York City, an iconic Art Deco masterpiece. Charles Keck was a famed sculptor born in New York who studied at the National Academy of Design, the American Academy in Rome, the Art Students of New York, and was a protégé of the renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. His masterpieces include Lifting the Veil of Ignorance at Tuskegee University, the statue of Huey Long in Statuary Hall, and the Lincoln Monument in Wabash, Indiana, among many many others.

Together Hood and Keck collaborated to create the Mori Monument in Woodlawn Cemetery.  The monument is an Art Deco masterpiece.  Art Deco was a design movement from the 1920s that marked a break from the fluid and flowing Art Nouveau designs of the 1890s.  The term ‘Art Deco’ is derived from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, an exhibition of artists that showed their work in Paris in 1925.   Arts Décoratifs was eventually truncated to Art Deco.  

Here the simple lines of the platform are a contrast to the curved lines of many of the monuments seen in funerary art that feature Art Nouveau and Gothic designs.  The mourning figure looks off in the distance in a contemplative stare.  The basket with the flowers reinforces the feeling of melancholy and sadness as the strewn flowers are a symbol of grief and loss.

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