SOLSTICE: Reflections on Winter Light is an annual light show celebrating the shortest, darkest day of the year. The array of interactive light and sound installations at the Mount Auburn Winter Solstice is created by artists at MASARY Studios, an artist collective that makes multi-sensory and interactive art pieces, and executed by AVFX.
Mount Auburn Cemetery hosts this exceptional experience, which features an outdoor journey through large-scale light and sound artworks. Guests stroll through the light-filled landscape, explore the Winter Solstice atmosphere, and reflect on moments of change as one year ends and a new cycle begins.
Mount Auburn Cemetery, located in Cambridge and Watertown, Massachusetts, is one of the oldest landscaped cemeteries in the United States. Here is a brief history of Mount Auburn Cemetery:
Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded in 1831 by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, making it the first rural cemetery in the United States. The idea was to create a tranquil and picturesque burial ground that also served as a botanical garden.
The cemetery’s design was influenced by the rural cemetery movement, which aimed to move away from traditional churchyard burials to more aesthetically pleasing and park-like landscapes. Renowned landscape architect Alexander Wadsworth and horticulturist Jacob Bigelow played key roles in the design.
Mount Auburn Cemetery introduced several innovative features, such as the use of ornamental plantings, meandering pathways, and the inclusion of ponds and lakes. This departure from traditional graveyards marked a shift towards a more contemplative and naturalistic approach to burial grounds. The Mount Auburn Winter Solstice, a large-scale, luminescent art installation also attracts more than 8,000 visitors to Mount Auburn Cemetery each year. What began as an experiment is now a holiday tradition for thousands of people.
The cemetery became a place where art and nature intertwined. It features a variety of sculptures, monuments, and mausoleums that reflect different architectural styles and symbolic representations. Some of these monuments are dedicated to notable individuals, including writers, scientists, and political figures.
Mount Auburn Cemetery became the final resting place for many notable historical figures, including poets Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and E.E. Cummings.
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