Stewart Mausoleum


Noted architect, Stanford White, designed this mausoleum for the Stewart family. Although records do not indicate how many monuments and mausoleums White personally designed, his firm, McKim, Mead and White, designed 40 funerary monuments between 1879 and 1919. Most of the firm’s designs are classical in origin and the firm often collaborated with other designers and sculptors to achieve the final product.

White’s rather plain design for the Stewart mausoleum is enhanced by bronze reliefs sculpted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1883. Saint-Gaudens often collaborated with Stanford White. Saint-Gaudens achieved fame as the designer of the United States’ twenty dollar gold piece, often known referred to simply as the “Saint-Gaudens”. The bronze panels Saint-Gaudens crafted for the Stewart mausoleum are very low relief and look as if they have been scratched into the surface. One panel depicts an angel holding a banner or scroll, symbolizing the taking of the inventory of one’s life. The other panel presents an angel holding a long horn, symbolizing the Archangel Gabriel, who signals the heavens of the impending arrival of another soul. The angel is seated on a bench which is inscribed with a biblical verse.

The Stewart family mausoleum contains, among others, David Stewart (1810-1891), who made his fortune in coal and iron mining, and as owner of the Stewart Iron Works in Uniontown, Pennsylvania. In 1830 he married Adelia Smith. They had four children; the oldest, Isabella, later became famous as "Mrs. Jack" Gardner of Boston, founder of the Gardner museum. She opened her “house museum” to the public, but ruled over it like a mother hen. Even in her later years, when she was bedridden, she would call out to imaginary visitors not to touch her treasured works of art.
Photo and text © Douglas Keister Visit Doug’s Author Page

[address cemetery=”Green-Wood Cemetery” street=”Willow Avenue” city=”Brooklyn” state=”New York” zip=”11218″]

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