Sunday, August 17, 2014

Restoration of Simeon Solomon's Grave

Just over a month ago, a number of friends and colleagues associated with the artist Simeon Solomon attended the rededication ceremony of his grave at Willesden Jewish Cemetery in London. I was unable to attend, in part because of the exorbitant prices to fly to London, but also because I was in Chicago at the time. As I had noted previously on this blog, Solomon's grave site long had fallen to ruin, a testament to his own reputation declining after his arrest for homosexual crimes and his subsequent death as an impoverished artist. Mr. Frank Vigon receives all the credit for taking the lead in the restoration of Solomon's grave site. My friend and colleague (and fellow Solomaniac!) Carolyn Conroy has written a short report about the ceremony and provided a number of photos, which you can read and see here on her Simeon Solomon Research Archive (which she has just this weekend updated with a new look). The photo you see here shows sculptor Joss Nankoo working on the new stone, which includes a replica of Solomon's painting The Sleepers and the One who Watcheth. It is our hope that this rededication will be another step forward in reclaiming Solomon's reputation as an important painter among the Pre-Raphaelites and in Jewish and gay/lesbian art history. I look forward to seeing his grave site on my next visit to London.

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