Angels of Glenwood

A Little Background

This post is part of a long term project for me about Glenwood Cemetery in Houston. I first visited Glenwood in 1960 0r ’61 for the funeral of a distant relative. I was 13-14 years old and didn’t pay any attention to it’s location. As I recall, all us cousins were in a limo and none of us were from Houston. We had all come from San Antonio where we were staying with Aunt Lucille and Uncle Jack. They had a day camp for kids called River Ranch Day Camp. I went there from age 4-17. I’ll have to post a story about that later.

I found Glenwood again in late ’69 or early ’70 after moving to Houston when I got out of the army. I lived in the Montrose area and my high school buddy Phil and I rode our bikes all over town. Houston wasn’t as big and spread out in those days. I need to write a post about Phil too. Several funny stories with him.

Anyway, that was when I took my first photographs in Glenwood. The camera was a Kodak 35mm rangefinder that my father bought the day I was born. The negatives and the camera ended up with my first wife so are most likely gone forever. I do have a photograph of me that was taken there and I will dig it out and put it in this post later on..There’s a story here as well that involves Don Henley of the Eagles.

Then 1972 rolls around and we move to Austin for a year and in ’73 move to Oregon for me to go to Oregon State. I graduate in ’76 and return to Houston to work for the next 30+ years. All memory of Glenwood forgotten until I get laid off in 2010 and make the discovery for the third time. I’ve been back in the cemetery several times a year since then.

Since 2010 I’ve been in Glenwood 37 times. I always go when I get a new camera or lens so that accounts for 25 visits – 10 new cameras and 15 new lenses. I had a lot of disposable income when I was working. The other visits were looking for good light. I still don’t have it quite right so I’ll make more visits in the future if this damn virus will go away.

Someone to Watch Over Me

So what is this long term project you ask? I asked myself that question for a long time and I finally figured it out about 3 years ago. As the title says, this is a project to photograph the angel funerary sculptures in Glenwood Cemetery. But not to just photograph them but to also produce prints in a variety of mediums.

Glenwood was founded in 1871 and I intend to print them using methods from that era. They will primarily be done in photogravure and platinum/palladium. Old school methodology using the latest environmentally and physically safe technology. A big shout-out to my mentor in these processes, Don Messec of Making Art Safely in Santa Fe.

…….More to come

3 thoughts on “Angels of Glenwood

  1. Charles, I have been thinking about who this could be that you would be at this awesome cemetery. I don’t think it was a Tolar, but maybe a Howle as that is Aunt Lucille’s family.
    As I viewed each of these statues, I knew Jim would have loved to have seen “Angels of Glenwood”. He was very spiritual and would have studied each statue to hear what each resonated to him. I would have been right behind him looking at each in reverence. As I view them now with Jim gone, it makes me sad as I miss him dearly and in my minds eye, this reminds me of Heaven.

    1. It was one of the Howles. I couldn’t remember the name. But, I think I’ve seen a Hole headstone in the cemetery. I’ve spent so much time there just walking around. I’m sure Jim would have loved it. You might have had to move to Houston.

      Each of those angels has their own personality and I hope to capture it someday.I’m very happy with a lot of the images I’ve taken but I’m not satisfied yet so I’ll be making more trips to Houston just to continue this work. Well, it’s not really work since it’s such a joy to do.

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