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Crystal Shrine Grotto

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Most faux bois artists probably don't imagine that some of their most elaborate works will be found in cemeteries, but with their serene park-like settings, maybe cemeteries are among the better choices -- and that's exactly where Dionicio Rodriguez did much of his work earlier in the 1900s.

This past winter, we went to Memorial Park in Memphis to see what he had created when the cemetery hired him in 1935 to beautify the landscape:

Dionicio Rodriguez' Art at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis TN

Wow, did he ever:
Dionicio Rodriguez' Art at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis TN

The building above with the two windows and the doorway, is what the artist designated as the 'Cave of Machpelah' which is the cave of the Patriarchs from the Bible -- the land and cave that Abraham had purchased, in Genesis.  Buried there were all the Patriarchs and Matriarchs -- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah (leaving out Rachel because she had been buried at Bethlehem).

Av has been to the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron...it's a mosque now.  I'll post pics from his visit next week, along with his pics of the Tomb of Rachel.

Dionicio Rodriguez' Art at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis TN

Abraham's Oak:
Dionicio Rodriguez' Art at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis TN
It's made entirely of concrete reinforced with steel and copper bar.

The work here was completed in 1938.  This is the famous Crystal Shrine Grotto:
Dionicio Rodriguez' Art at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis TN

Inside, rock crystal (quartz):
Dionicio Rodriguez' Art at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis TN

Inside are depictions of the life of Jesus -- some are sculpted in plaster by Marie Craig (late 1930s), and some in wood by David Day (1970s):
Dionicio Rodriguez' Art at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis TN

I have pics from two other cemeteries that have Dionicio Rodriguez sculptures -- I'll put those up in the next week or two.

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