JANE GRIFFITH, Green-Wood Cemetery

Likely the most poignant monument in Green-Wood is the one erected by Charles Griffith to his beloved wife Jane on Greenbough Avenue in 1858. It depicts a young man going off to work in the morning at the front door of a wisteria-covered townhouse. He leans on a partially-opened gate while his clearly adoring wife beams. Her hands are folded in a relaxed fashion. A small dog sits on the steps to her left, and a horsecar and driver is shown on the right side of the sculpture. The inscription at the top reads simply: “Jane, My Wife.”

The sculpture depicts the last converstion of Jane and Charles Griffith at 109 West 13th Street on August 4, 1857. When Charles returned later that evening, Jane was dead of what physicians said was heart disease. She was 40 years old. Devastated, Charles commissioned an Italian-American sculptor, Patrizio Piatti, to create the monument. Piazzi worked from a personal visit to the Griffith house and from Jane’s photograph: though Piatti originally sculpted it, her face has weathered away, the only real deterioration that has occurred in this touching tribute. It is located in one of the cemetery’s most secluded and beautiful areas.

Charles is said to have visited his wife’s monument weekly for 25 years until his own death in 1882; he was laid side by side with Jane.

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2 Responses to JANE GRIFFITH, Green-Wood Cemetery

  1. Peter says:

    Today the site of their house is a parking garage.

  2. Suzanne says:

    Thank you for uncovering a lovely story.

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