Trustees
 

CHAIRMAN
C. Payson Coleman, Jr.

VICE CHAIRMAN
Michael C. Brooks

Lark-Marie Antón

John R.H. Blum*

Denise Crimmins Clayton*

Bevin Cline

Peter W. Davidson

Elizabeth Rohn Jeffe

Malcolm MacKay*

J. Douglas Maxwell, Jr.*

Scot Medbury

Hugh O’Kane, Jr.

Otis Pratt Pearsall*

John R. Reese

Jim Rossman

Carla P. Shen

Sam Sifton

Allie O. Sweeney

Walter C. Teagle III

Earl D. Weiner

Samuel G. White

*Emeritus

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THE 2018 ANNUAL REPORT

We celebrate Green-Wood’s rising leadership as a cultural and community institution.

For the love of

NATURE

Come in to Green-Wood

Photo: Evan Rabeck

“There are few places in the world where art, history, and nature converge to such glorious effect.”

SAM SIFTON
Founding Editor, New York Times Cooking; Green-Wood Trustee

The radiant monk parakeets dwelling in the Gothic brownstone Arch at Green-Wood take little notice of the arrivals—people who set aside the stresses of city life for respite in a landscape devoted to rest and contemplation. Green-Wood’s earliest years saw picturesque carriage rides in a time before there were public parks or museums in New York. Today, visitors stroll under old shade trees and relax in the cool valleys by glacial ponds, much in the spirit of what their nineteenth-century counterparts would have done.

Accredited as a Level III arboretum, Green-Wood is home to one of the oldest, largest, and most diverse tree collections in the Northeast (over 8,000 trees and shrubs) and more than 180 species of birds.

Photos: Evan Rabeck, Stacy Locke, Art Presson

For the love of

PERFORMANCE

Come in to Green-Wood

Photo: Maike Schulz

“In a city with thousands of performance venues, there’s nothing else like Green-Wood.”

JOHN TURTURRO
Actor, Writer, Director

Producers, playwrights, and performers are always looking for ways to inspire and uniquely showcase their work. Spirited away from conventional stage and screen venues, players revel in the truly unique settings of Green-Wood. A great example is A Night at Niblo’s Garden. Performed in front of the magnificent Niblo family mausoleum, the evening pairs The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus with an unforgettable atmosphere. Audience members bring picnic baskets for vintage summer revelry of fire jugglers, performers, singers, and dramatic tableaux.

Photos: Matthew Placek, Rooftop Films

For the love of

HISTORY

Come in to Green-Wood

Photo: Shannon Taggart

“Green-Wood stands apart as a thriving testament to the centerpiece of all history: the people who made it.”

KEN BURNS
Documentary Filmmaker

For a world immersed in technology and life displayed on screens, a visit to Green-Wood is a retreat to the founding of baseball, the first American musical, the whiskey rebellion, and the composing of West Side Story. Pay tribute to the noble and the infamous, research your own past, or walk in the footsteps of those who shaped our country and the world; names like Clinton, Bernstein, Steinway, Basquiat, Pierrepont, and so many more.

Green-Wood is not only steeped in history, it continues to make history with events, exhibitions, and community programming. This fall, The Green-Wood Historic Fund launched its Archives and Collections web portal. For the first time, portions of Green-Wood’s vast holdings are now available to researchers from this virtual access point.

Photos: Maike Schulz, Stacy Locke, Shannon Taggart

For the love of

FAMILY

Come in to Green-Wood

Photo: Maike Schulz

“A sanctuary built for the purpose of commemorating families has also become a lively destination for them.”

NYDIA VELÁZQUEZ
U.S. Congressional Representative, 7th District, New York

More than perhaps any other location or institution in the city, Green-Wood is truly and fundamentally about the full circle of life. Our charter may have focused on mortality, but our evolution has been about vitality.

In addition to interments, cremations, and funeral services, Green-Wood supports families with weddings in our charming 1913 Historic Chapel, educational and storytelling programs for children, and festive events like our popular, annual Memorial Day concert.

Genealogy has become an important and passionate endeavor for many in the age of the internet, when so much information is available at the click of a mouse. Millions can trace their history back to at least one of the 573,855 (and counting) people interred at Green-Wood. Through “Green-ealogy,” a fee-for-service program, our expert researchers can call up unique, usually never-before-seen documents such as family letters, burial instructions, family trees, and our magnificent handwritten ledger books.

Photos: James Henry, Maike Schulz

For the love of

STORYTELLING

Come in to Green-Wood

Photo: Maike Schulz

“What better venue for sharing personal tales than where there’s a story around every corner?”

CATHERINE BURNS
Artistic Director, The Moth

Dead Distillers, Tiffany at Green-Wood, Secrets in Stone, Magicians and Mediums—these are just some of the themed tours we have at Green-Wood. Each one tells the stories of our permanent residents. But they’re just the beginning.

Visitors to Green-Wood discover new stories all the time. Gravestones with a mysterious epitaphs, hidden symbols, or unusual sculptures can all inspire the curious. Visitors may encounter the grave of New York City’s first female police detective, New York City’s first African-American millionaire, or even the first man to photograph the moon.

Storytelling at Green-Wood, as the producers of The Moth storytelling series (heard on NPR stations around the country) discovered, has special resonance in a setting with more stories per square foot than any other place in New York.

Photos: Maike Schulz, Jason Falchook

For the love of

SERENITY

Come in to Green-Wood

Photo: Art Presson

“The natural beauty of the trees, the landscape’s dramatic contours, and the countless markers of mortality make Green-Wood an enchanting and deeply personal place.”

MATTHEW JENSEN
Artist, Guggenheim Fellow

The experience of visiting Green-Wood is serene by design. The beautiful interior of Hillside Mausoleum has a five-story waterfall, two pyramid skylights, and a reflecting pool. Tranquility Garden, an Asian-inspired columbarium, is surrounded by an energetic koi pond and vines of wisteria. For its abiding serenity Green-Wood has become a choice location for meditation and contemplation of every variety.

Photos: Evan Rabeck, Sara Evans

For the love of

COMMUNITY

Come in to Green-Wood

Photo: Maike Schulz

“Events and gatherings at Green-Wood are special because a cemetery confers a sense of reverence and respect.”

JULIA JEAN-FRANCOIS
Co-Director, Center for Family Life

As As a non-sectarian cemetery, Green-Wood welcomes everyone. All cultures are embraced. Our Historic Chapel is open daily to people of all faiths for prayer and meditation. Outdoor funerary burners accommodate offerings made by practitioners of for the traditional Chinese festival of Qingming. School programs, lectures, discussions, book talks, and more take place in Green-Wood’s Historic and Modern Chapels throughout the year. In 2018, in partnership with Bard Graduate Center Gallery, Green-Wood presented Border Crossings: This and Other Worlds in celebration of Día de Los Muertos.

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, Green-Wood’s free Memorial Day concert welcomed over 4,500 attendees. Our popular Memorial Day commemoration is also free of charge every year. The annual Gay Green-Wood tour, presented in partnership with the NYC LGBTQ Historic Sites Project, visits the resting places of influential LGBTQ figures from the arts, business, politics, and the gay rights movement.

Photos: Stacy Locke, Maike Schulz

For the love of

ART

Come in to Green-Wood

Photo: Maike Schulz

“Green-Wood is a spectacular outdoor museum, but the true work of art is Green-Wood itself.”

SHARON MATT-ATKINS
Director of Curatorial Affairs, Brooklyn Museum

More than three decades before either The Met or the Brooklyn Museum opened their doors, the grand sculptures of Green-Wood were on view for all to see.

Sculptures, obelisks, and stained glass are more than just placeholders to memorialize residents. They are world-class works of art. Highlighted with historic cast-iron street signs, a myriad of artistic styles are on view: Gothic Revival, Romanesque Revival, Egyptian Revival, Art Deco, and more.

Green-Wood also has a special relationship to artists themselves. Hundreds are interred at Green-Wood, including George Catlin, Asher Brown Durand, George Bellows, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Leon Golub, Nancy Spero, and Hedda Sterne.

Photos: Stacy Locke, Evan Rabeck

For the love of

MUSIC

Come in to Green-Wood

Photo: Maike Schulz

“When live music is especially matched to its setting the entire experience is amplified.”

WES JACKSON
Executive Director, Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival

Live music in New York is as much about the setting as about the program. From open-air concerts to the unique acoustics in the Historic Chapel, the sounds of Green-Wood are enticing. Sold-out crowds attended the premiere of Nightfall, an immersive moonlit experience, and The Angel’s Share, a new concert series set in the Catacombs and co-presented with Death of Classical.

Green-Wood members enjoyed a special Jazz at Twilight concert series as our way of thanking this dedicated group for their continued support.

Photo: Steven Pisano

For the love of

ENCHANTMENT

Come in to Green-Wood

Photo: Maike Schulz

“Green-Wood is a cultural and historical treasure. That it happens also to be something of a best-kept secret may be part of its magic.”

RICHARD J. MOYLAN
Green-Wood President

Many have tried, but perhaps no one knows quite how to explain it: The feeling you get when you come in to Green-Wood. It’s more than just the hush of leaving the city behind, the peace of embracing the circle of life, or the beauty of well-tended grounds interspersed with wild nature. It’s a sense of the rightness of things. The oddly comforting mix of both the permanent and temporal nature of life.

There are places in New York where you can find more art. There are places with a greater expanse of nature. And there are places with as much historical provenance and artifacts. But there’s no other place in New York where you can find all of that in one place, married together in one remarkable, enchanting experience.

Photos: Evan Rabeck, Maike Schulz