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5 Favorites: Tombstones as Art, Halloween Edition

October 31, 2012

A few years ago, I made a pilgrimage to the grave of Nico, the Velvet Underground singer and collaborator, in the depths of the Friedhof Grunewald Forest in Berlin. My friend and I both took a rubbing of her tombstone that read simply: "Nico, Christa Päffgen 1938-1988." We did the same at Jim Morrison's grave in Paris; today our interests and rockstar obsessions have evolved, but we'll always have the macabre prints to remind us. Here are five ways to use grave rubbings—and even tombstones—as art.

Above: A slim headstone leans against a fireplace in England; photo by Antony Crolla, discovered via Desire to Inspire.

Above: UK artist Samantha Sweeting created this hand-engraved, unglazed earthenware plate with text taken from a gravestone rubbing in Devon.

Above: LA-based artist Christopher Garrett created this grave rubbing at a local cemetery for the "Sound of Silence" show at the AMP Gallery in Athens, Greece; image via The Eternal Optimist.

Above: A room in a renovated Grade II listed Georgian house in Spitalfields for photographer Oliver Chanarin by architect Chris Dyson.

Above: A Screen Print of Jim Morrison's Gravestone in Paris is €49 from Jim Morrison Paris, printed on handmade acid-free Lokta paper with a deckled edge.

Above: A Charcoal Relief Framed Grave Stone is $65 from Magnolia's Caboose on Etsy.