Saturday, June 27, 2015

Patricia Cronin's Memorial to a Marriage, from 2001 to 2015

Patricia Cronin, Memorial to a Marriage, Woodlawn Cemetery, 2001- 
now replaced with bronze version
Interview and article in Hyperallergic, 2011

In July 2012, my old blog Beth New York celebrated the marriage of New York artists Patricia Cronin and Deborah Kass, whose personal commitment inspired Cronin's sculpture Memorial to a Marriageinstalled in Woodlawn Cemetery, the Bronx, in 2002. The marble mortuary sculpture was meant to accomplish in death what seemed to be impossible in life.

On June 26, 2015, Cronin's sculpture was transformed from an agent for hope to a true memorial for the struggle to achieve the right to marry whomever one chooses. And it immortalizes a reality: "Love is Love."  

 Patricia Cronin, Memorial to a Marriage, 2002 in her exhibition: Bodies and Soul, Conner Gallery, Washington, DC , Febuary 4 - March 10, 2012

One day, when the struggle for the right to same-sex marriage is a distant memory, Cronin's Memorial will preserve the tireless efforts that brought us tears of joy yesterday. Hopefully, the original marble carving will be acquired by a major museum (the Met, Smithsonian or the Whitney Museum of American Art) so that its personal and political history is always remembered.    


And now a word or two about this beautiful work of art:

Gustave Courbet, The Sleepers, 1866

Memorial to a Marriage is based on Gustave Courbet's Sleepers or Sleep (1866) and Cronin's abiding interest in America's 19th century neo-classical movement.  Patricia Cronin studied and appropriated Harriet Hosmer's work for her exhibition Harriet Hosmer: Lost and Found, at the Brooklyn Museum (June 2009-January 2010).

Harriet Hosmer, Beatrice Cenci, 1856.

For more information on this sculpture, please read this article on Sculpture Magazine, January-February 2003.

Patricia Cronin's most recent work is Shrine for Girls, 2015, on view in the Church of San Gallo, during the 55th Venice Biennale.  Clarity Haynes' interview with the artist was published in Hyperallergic early this month. 

For more information on Patricia Cronin's work, please visit her website: 
(Artist Clarity Haynes' website is:

Best wishes for Pride Weekend!
Beth New York

aka Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director, New York Arts Exchange

No comments:


No comments: