Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On New England Aesthetics

Here is John H. Sheppard, member of the board of directors of the New England Historical and Genealogical Society and librarian of the Society (1861-1869), on the aesthetics of colonial New England:
It seemed not enough to erect temples to God, without regard to any order of architecture, without form or comeliness, looking like steepled barns, and then to use them for unholy purposes and town meetings; but, in too many instances, the very churchyards were neglected, unfenced, and uncared for, the graves exposed to horses cattle, and dogs, not a tree nor a flower suffered to shade or bloom there, and neither walk nor path laid out among the falling, struggling stones, for the pensive mourner to muse over a loved one, or drop a tear over his grave.
Sheppard was an Englishman, raised in the Anglican church. I will keep "steepled barns" close to my heart. 

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