Forest Lawn Cemetery Table of Contents
Mirror Lake, Forest Lawn Cemetery
Buffalo, New York
"The Three Graces" Fountain
"The Three Graces" Fountain was sculpted by Charles
Cary Rumsey (1879-1922).
"The Three Graces" is a recast of a sculpture. Aglaia, Eurphersyne and ThaIia are the three Greek goddesses whose job it is to dispense to us ordinary mortals beauty, charm and perhaps a bit of mirth.
Rumsey's 1911 sculpture had been commissioned for the E.H. Harriman estate on the Hudson River (Mary Harriman became Rumsey's wife in 1910).
"The Three Graces" is an unassuming work that fits soothingly into the heady mix of Victorian and classical sculpture and architecture surrounding it. The figures, delicately touching hands, seem to be circling slowly, their rhythmical movement just momentarily held up by the figure who has stooped to adjust an imaginary sandal. Although 63 inches high – a very acceptable height for your average goddess–from the edge of the lake the work appears to be slightly under life size. With no pretensions to be monumental sculpture, it can take its place on the small body of water without at all dominating it, without seeming to try to compete with the sonorous mausoleums and more grandiose statues nearby.
Forest Lawn sees itself as a living museum – a collection of art, architecture and history. The replica was ordered by the cemetery from the Long Island art casting foundry of Joel Meisner & Co. and installed in the summer of 1987.
Another reason for the decision to bring "The Three Graces" to Forest Lawn is the importance of the Rumsey family generally to Buffalo. The Rumsey family has a long connection with the city and many of the artist's relatives are presently active members of the community.
Reprint from The Buffalo News, November 15, 1987